India 5G Rollout Fastest In World But Revenues Not Picked Up: COAI DG

COAI DG: 5G rollout in India is fastest in the world, but revenues have not picked up as apps that generate 80% of the traffic do not pay for the network.
India 5G Rollout Fastest In World But Revenues Not Picked Up: COAI DG

Rollout of 5G network in India has been the fastest in the world but revenue has not picked up as apps that are generating 80 per cent of the traffic are not paying for the network, a top official of the telecom industry body COAI said.

While speaking with PTI at India Mobile Congress, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General S P Kochhar said telecom players do not want to burden consumers but someone has to bear the cost of investment being made in the network.

"The 5G rollout has been very good. It has set world records with the fastest 5G rollout. But having said that, I'm a little constrained to say that the revenues for the telecom industry have not picked up," Kochhar said.

He said a huge amount of capital expenditure is being invested to roll out these networks.

"The private players who are rolling this out definitely expect the return on that. That unfortunately is not happening on the scale as which it should. 5G rollout has brought in 4-5 large entities who are consuming 80 per cent of telecom networks bandwidth but not paying revenue," Kochhar said.

Internet companies and their lobbies have said that the proposal of telecom players if accepted will adversely impact start-up ecosystems in India and throttle innovation.

Kocchar said that such arguments are misleading.

"There are only 4-5 large traffic generators (LTG) who are making huge profit. Start-up ecosystem consumes only about 1.8 per cent of total traffic which is very small. We want MSMEs to be exempted from this proposal but those who are consuming 80 per cent of the bandwidth should pay to support infrastructure," Kochhar said.

He said that if there is no telecom network then start-ups will suffer.

"We want the government to accept our proposal in-principle and then both sides will sit down and settle other formalities mutually," Kochhar said.

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