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Spectrum auction in Mar, DoT to seek cabinet nod in Dec

Any telecom player interested in buying spectrum for 5G service in 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425-3,600 Mhz band will need to shell out at least Rs 9,840 crore as per TRAI’s proposal.

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New Delhi, Nov 28 : Department of Telecom is targeting spectrum auction in mid March, 2020, after its high powered committee on spectrum pricing decided in favour of TRAI’s recommended base price. The decision will be placed before the Cabinet for approval in December, official sources said.

“We are targeting March for spectrum auction for 5G and others. We will push for cabinet approval next month after taking Digital Communications Commission nod on prices. Our internal committee has cleared the TRAI base prices for all the bands, all processes are concurrently going on. The auctioneer will also be appointed shortly,” official sources said.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also in a written reply said on Wednesday that there is no reduction on prices for the spectrum auction envisaged.

The minister said: “The value of unsold spectrum as on date as p er valuation by TRAI in its recommendations on Auction of Spectrum in 700 MH z, 800MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2,500 MHz, 3,300-3,400 MHz, 3,400-3,600MHz Bands dated August 1, 2018 is Rs 4.9 lakh crore,” Prasad said.

Any telecom player interested in buying spectrum for 5G service in 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425-3,600 Mhz band will need to shell out at least Rs 9,840 crore as per TRAI’s proposal.

The minister also said the 275 megahertz of available radiowaves frequency between 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425 to 3,600 Mhz band for 5G auction which is enough to launch 5G services in the country.

Industry bodies and telecom operators have been demanding a reduction in the proposed base price for 5G spectrum auction, claiming that the rate was t oo high.The DoT has set a target to roll out 5G in 2020. Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson in its global study published early this week said that 5G connections are likely to be available in India from 2022.

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Jeff Bezos: Gandhi’s teachings still relevant

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Jeff Bezos Amazon CEO

Mumbai, Jan 17 : Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos feels his trip to India started off on the right note with kites, and says he felt honoured to be able to lay a wreath on the memorial of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi.

From dressing in ‘desi’ attire to spending time with some kids to showing off his kite-flying skills on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Bezos made the most of his India trip. He looked back at the time spent in the country during a conversation with superstar Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Zoya Akhtar at a glitzy Amazo Prime Video event here.

“Kite flying was fun… Any day when you get fly kite is a good day.. My trip to India started off on the right note with kites,” Bezos said.

Asked about his experience at the Raj Ghat, he said: “It was very peaceful. He truly changed the world and taught us the principle of non-violence. It was a great honour to be there and lay a wreath.”

When SRK asked if Mahatma Gandhi’s teaching still relevant, Bezos said: “It will be relevant forever..They are true but somehow very hard to achieve.”

Bezos, who is ranked amongst top most global billionaires, was on a three-day India visit starting from Tuesday. He has been to India several times, and has noticed one thing about the country.

“I noticed certain things that seem to me to be the same. There is so much energy, colour, full of life, and everywhere you go, there is so much diversity…Every time I come here, I find that the people that I talked to, are focused on and interested in being better tomorrow than they are today. Everybody here seems to be focused on self improvement. So, when I come here I get a boost of energy,” he said.

Be in its India slate or global line-up, Amazon has diverse projects added to its library. Bezos says the aim is to make it a ‘talent friendly” studio.

“I think this is a golden age of television. There are really good TV series in terms of quality of the very best movies. Now, the best storytellers are coming to TV. You’re getting the best actors in television. This is one of those businesses where the viewer always look for something a little fresh, so you can never find formula. As soon as you find a formula, it’s not fresh,” he said.

Bezos continued: “I want us to be known as the most talent friendly studio in the world. And the reason at the end of the day is that it is the talent that makes those stories. Storytelling is the oldest thing that we’ve been doing it.”

“It is one of the hardest things that humans do is tell riveting inspiring stories,” he added.

Bezos also announced that they have decided to double down the investment for the streaming service in the country. The evening wrapped up with a soulful Sufi performance by music maestro AR Rahman.

(Sugandha Rawal is in Mumbai on an invitation by Amazon Prime Video. She can be contacted at [email protected])

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‘Unending love for Amazon’: RSS economic wing targets Amitabh Kant

Mahajan tweeted: “Kudos @PiyushGoyal you are absolutely right. Kindly enlighten Shri @amitabhk87 also, because he seems to be deeply impressed by the company, especially $1 billion.”

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Jeff Bezos Amazon CEO

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Ashwani Mahajan, the face of RSS’s economic wing Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), on Thursday lashed out at Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, accusing him of being sympathetic towards e-commerce giant Amazon and its owner and global CEO Jeff Bezos, who is on a three-day visit to India.

After Kant tweeted an article, claiming, “Amazon will export $10 billion Make in India goods by 2025, says Jeff Bezos,” Mahajan launched an offensive against the Niti Aayog chief.

The SJM national co-convenor tweeted: “Shri @amitabhk87 ji We r perturbed by your unending love for Amazon, given the scenario that crores of small traders are on streets persecuted by deep discounts and flaunting of rules by the company, @CCI_India and ED instituting enquiry against their wrongs.”

He also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet.

Soon in another tweet targeting Kant, Mahajan highlighted Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal’s assertion that “Amazon’s fresh $1B investment in India is not a big favour.”

Mahajan tweeted: “Kudos @PiyushGoyal you are absolutely right. Kindly enlighten Shri @amitabhk87 also, because he seems to be deeply impressed by the company, especially $1 billion.”

The small and medium businesses have been up against Bezos ever since he landed in Delhi on Tuesday, claiming Amazon’s expansion in India will mean death of domestic business. SJM has been spearheading the opposition to Amazon.

On Wednesday, Bezos announced an investment of $1 billion in small and medium businesses in India. He also announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.

The Amazon CEO’s India visit comes at a crucial time as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered an enquiry into the business practices of e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart.

Traders have staged protests across India against Bezos’ visit under the aegis of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). CAIT has been protesting for the past few months against what it calls “deep” discounts offered by the e-commerce platforms.

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Amazon’s investment not doing India a great favour: Goyal

Bezos also announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.

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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday that e-commerce firm Amazon was not doing “India a great favour” by investing $1 billion in the country.

Goyal was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue which is a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi.

He said India allows e-commerce companies to work on the marketplace model where buyers and sellers are free to buy and sell and follow the rules of the marketplace and laws of the country, which clearly say that FDI in multi-brand retail will only be allowed up to 49 per cent.

“… Secondly, they may have put in a billion dollars but then, if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, they will jolly well have to finance that billion dollars,” he replied to a question during a panel discussion at the event.

“So, it is not as if they are doing a great favour to India when they invest a billion dollars,” he said.

According to the minister, the company has been investing in India over the last few years, in warehousing and certain other activities.

However, the minister wondered as to how a company employing the e-commerce market-place model makes massive losses.

He said that such losses raise questions, whether the company is indulging in predatory pricing or other unfair trade practices, which will be investigated by authorities.

The minister’s statement assumes significance since Amazon’s global CEO Jeff Bezos on Thursday announced a $1 billion worth of investment into India.

The e-commerce firm’s global CEO is on a three-day visit to India. On Thursday, he announced an investment of $1 billion in small and medium businesses in India.

Bezos also announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.

The Amazon CEO’s India visit comes at a crucial time as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered an enquiry into the business practices of e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart.

Traders have staged protests across India against Bezos’ visit under the aegis of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). CAIT has been protesting for the past few months against what it calls “deep” discounts offered by the e-commerce platforms.

After the minister’s statement at the Raisina Dialogue, CAIT termed it as bold and pragmatic.

“CAIT in its submission to the government has been maintaining that Amazon and Flipkart are bringing FDI in India only to fund their losses arising out of deep discounting and predatory pricing, which is a direct attempt to destroy the ecosystem of Indian retail by trampling upon the livelihood of seven crore traders,” CAIT said in a statement.

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