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While limited spectrum was offered in auctions till 2015, since previous year, the government has started putting all the available spectrum on sale in line with a Supreme Court judgement, the secretary said.

"There appears to be an urgent need to revisit and review its tariff orders in the larger interest of the government revenues as well as the telecom sector", Deepak has written in a letter to TRAI chairman RS Sharma, dated February 23.

The comments assume significance as earlier on Tuesday the Telecom Department has advocated annual spectrum auctions for India's telecom market and has said it will shortly approach TRAI for recommendations on pricing, timing and bands that should be placed on the block.

"We are looking to do a spectrum auction every year so that telcos can plan their needs, whether they need to trade it, buy it from someone else or come to the auction". "Indian telecom sector is the spectrum super market, so just like in a supermarket, if it does not sell now, it will sell next time, we are not anxious", he said. "How much of spectrum to be sold, the price, newer spectrum bands - all issues will be considered", he said.

A 1982 batch IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh, Deepak, who is at present attending the World Mobile Congress at Barcelona, has been shifted with "immediate effect" from the telecom ministry and has been made Officer on Special Duty in the commerce department, an official order said. "Even if I may believe that not even 1 Mhz will sell, I will put it on sale year after year", he added. "But we would like to give opportunity to the industry to buy spectrum as and when they need", said Deepak. Deepak reiterated his views on consolidation backing five operators in the space. "It is not communication issue but productivity issue for India, 5G has wider applications like smart cities, management of grids and all kind of things, so we are very keen to be with the world". Deepak said that India was late in rolling out 3G and 4G, but the government is doing a lot of work and is keen that India is at par with 5G rollout across the world.


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