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Seema Singh

CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR

Seema has over two decades of experience in journalism. Before starting The Ken, Seema wrote “Myth Breaker: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and the Story of Indian Biotech”, published by HarperCollins in May 2016. Prior to that, she was a senior editor and bureau chief for Bangalore with Forbes India, and before that she wrote for Mint. Seema has written for numerous international publications like IEEE-Spectrum, New Scientist, Cell and Newsweek. Seema is a Knight Science Journalism Fellow from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MacArthur Foundation Research Grantee.

115 Articles published

Top Comments by Seema Singh

Welcome to rollup eye-commerce: What ASG's bid for Vasan tells us about future of Indian eye care

Anand, I'm sorry to see that you think some new principles are in force at The Ken. There's no such thing. On Friday, our CMS was acting up and several hyperlinked words disappeared causing a few sentences to look incomplete. It also affected the text spacing in the story. This was corrected within 2-3 hours of publishing. I'm assuming this comment was also posted during that time. If there's anything else that you find sloppy, please let me know and I'll try to address that.

Seema Singh

JS Deepak has a Counterthesis: India didn’t really auction spectrum, and it's still charging too much for it

Anant, I went back to JS Deepak for a response. Here's what he has to say: Thanks for your interest in my interview in The Ken. However, you seem to have misunderstood some aspects completely. I have never anywhere in the interview said that the problem with almost all spectrum being sold at reserve price is the revenue realisation. Rather, it is the absence of a market determined price as selling spectrum at a administratively determined price is not a globally recognised best practice.As a matter of fact, my counterthesis is that revenue maximisation should not have been a criterion in this sale of spectrum looking at the state of the challenges that the telecom sector faces. Again I have said that the government has done well to auction 5G spectrum in all the 3 bands. This will enable telcos to bring in new technology and rollout 5G services in India. But nowhere have I mentioned that *all available spectrum* in these bands should have been put to sale. Reasons for this are given in some detail in the piece. So, where is the contradiction?

Seema Singh

India's mega spectrum auction is a sale, not really an auction

Ani, to your first point, as you rightly said, there's no real business case (aka revenue generation scope) for 5G even in urban areas. Which is why the telecom regulator, Trai, has clearly written it'd take 3-5 years for 5G to penetrate urban India. So for now, it's mostly about slow preparation and having a foot in the door. The Govt's own ask for telcos in this rollout is that they must do it in a few cities in the first year, a few more in the second year and so on. On #2, you may be right. There's definitely something of interest here :)

Seema Singh

India's mega spectrum auction is a sale, not really an auction

Saurabh, I get what you are saying. The person quoted in the story is making a larger point - what is the right quantum of spectrum to be put out for auction. Because as you'd have read in the story, it's no longer an auction. It's become a base price sale which is at a complex and somewhat arbitrarily-determined price. The broader point is that perhaps it's time to get back to the drawing board, drop the legacy issues, and determine the right price of the spectrum in different bands; figure out the right incentives for buyers, and create more competition. Because this is a fast-evolving industry, we don't know what new technologies will come in the next 3-5 years.

Seema Singh

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