Vaz advises against 700 MHz band auction
Monique Grange, Assistant News Editor - Radio
West Portland Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz is cautioning the government against auctioning two licences for use of the 700 megahertz band.
The Minister of Technology, Phillip Paulwell, announced in March that the government hopes to issue the licences in July as part of efforts to woo new entrants to the wireless telecommunications market.
However, speaking during the Sectoral Debate on Wednesday, Vaz insisted that selling such a national asset would not be the best move at this time.
He said the 700 megahertz band should not be sold until data penetration on existing technology is much higher, and there is actually a demand for greater data services which cannot be provided by old technology.
Vaz questioned whether an out-of-reach price tag of US$40 million was the reason behind the move to postpone the auction indefinitely.
He noted that with such a high cost, the new operators would be forced to charge higher rates for mobile broadband to recoup spending.
According to Vaz, it is important to address matters such as number portability, infrastructure sharing and mobile termination rates in order to get maximum value from licenses.
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