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UK's Vodafone Asks India to Clear Pending Spectrum Requests as 4G Demand Surges Amid Lockdown

© AP Photo / Martin MeissnerVodafone Logo
Vodafone Logo - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): The load on Internet bandwidth in India has gone up, with the demand surging in the first few days of the 21-day lockdown to mitigate COVID19. Locked up Indians are working, studying and getting their doses of entertainment at home.

In a bid to maintain the supply-demand curve of high-speed 4G internet, the UK telecom company Vodafone, which operates with Idea in India, has urged the federal government to clear pending demands for spectrum, media reported on Wednesday (25 March).

“We are hopeful that DoT (federal Department of Telecommunications) would expedite our spectrum liberalisation requests and regularise our backhaul spectrum,” Vodafone Idea was quoted as saying in its approach to the DoT.

In 2019, reports suggested that India would conduct a fresh auction of the 4G spectrum between the 700 (megahertz) MHz to 2,500MHz bands in April 2020. That plans now stands stranded amid the Coronavirus scare. for the premium 4G spectrum at a reserve price of $873 million (INR 65,680,000,000) per MHz, for a pan-India 5 MHz block, operators would loose out on out $4.36 billion (INR 328,400,000,000).

Rants over the slow internet speeds have been flooding Twitter in India for the past couple of days. Customers of all telecom operators including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are complaining about the sluggish internet speeds on Twitter.

In an attempt to reduce the pressure on internet bandwidth, content giants like YouTube and Netflix have decided to suspend high definition resolution content until the Coronavirus-caused lockdown period comes to an end.

On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to restrict the spread of Coronavirus.

The novel pandemic virus outbreak which originated in China back in December 2019 has infected over 475,000 people and resulted in the death of over 21,000 globally.

In India, since it was first reported in January, 13 people have lost their lives, while to date 649 people have tested positive, including 47 foreign nationals, according to data released by the federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Thursday. 

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