ZTE Calls For Lower 5G Spectrum Prices In India

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ZTE also backed cheaper prices for 5G spectrum, saying the technology would help attract new business models.

Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE believes that profitability is still a challenge for the organisation in India. This news comes when telcos are already reeling under revenue pressure and high debt in the country. ZTE also called for lower 5G spectrum prices to enable telcos to invest in networks and subsequently, generate revenue for the government.

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Xiao Ming, ZTE’s president of global sales, told Economic Times that he does not see a reasonable model of such a low ARPU (average revenue per user) supporting operator business. According to him, it is a very challenging situation for everyone in the industry and ZTE is equally struggling in terms of profitability and need to work hard together with telco partners.

Almost everyone is suffering
India is already the top data-consuming country in the world, with very competitive prices that yield low ARPU, a key performance parameter. According to Xiao, almost everyone is suffering and that will require key vendor-partners to provide more competitive solutions to telcos.

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ZTE also backed cheaper prices for 5G spectrum, saying the technology would help attract new business models. However, monetisation of new use-cases will remain a common challenge for all.

Indian telecom operators have asked the government to reject the regulator’s 5G pricing recommendations, which they said were too high and would leave them with little cash to invest in networks. Xiao backed their stance, calling for India to look at the pricing in other markets.

The executive said the Indian telecom industry will evolve with the introduction of new digital services, which will benefit the sector.

ZTE works with Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. in India. It recently bagged a 4G expansion contract from Vodafone Idea for five circles, which it shares with other vendors. The Chinese company will continue its focus on wireless mobile and fixed broadband to drive growth in India this year.

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