LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, was quoted recently in an article published by TIME on India’s widening telecom scandal. A recent report published by India’s top auditor highlights irregularities in the government allocation of 2G spectrum to private companies.
Rohan Samarajiva, an expert on telecom policy in South Asia, has studied the mobile-phone market in Bangladesh. There, too, investigations revealed hundreds of cases of spectrum sold and resold in “non-transparent” transactions. Nevertheless, Bangladesh has nearly 100% phone coverage and some of the lowest prices in the world. “How the [phone market] entry was created has not harmed it,” Samarajiva says. “The effects are not really in that industry.”‘
Partha Mukhopadhyay, LIRNEasia International Advisory Board Member and Senior Fellow at the Center for Policy Research, India, was also quoted.
A better policy would, for example, unbundle spectrum in cities and villages to encourage carriers to reach underserved rural areas. Increasing the price paid for spectrum (which is, in any case, passed on to consumers) without improving policy “would be a failure,” Mukhopadhyay says. “The fear is, we will not take the lessons from this particular deal and improve the way spectrum is allocated.”
Click here to read the full article.