TRAI recommends all kinds of spectrum sharing
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Monday recommended to allow sharing of all categories of spectrum.
"All access spectrum, that is, spectrum in the bands of 800/900/1800/2100/2300/2500 MHz will be shareable provided that both the licensees are having spectrum in the same band," the sector regulator said in its "Guidelines on Spectrum Sharing".
"Both the licensees, willing to share their spectrum, shall inform the licensor at the time of entering into spectrum sharing agreement," it said.
In February 2014, the authority had constituted a steering committee of senior officers of TRAI and representatives of all the telecom service providers (TSP) to frame the guidelines for spectrum sharing.
"Considering the fact that spectrum sharing results in additional quantity of spectrum with both the licensees to serve higher number of consumers, the SUC (spectrum usage charges) rate of each of the licensees post-sharing shall increase by 0.5 percent of AGR (adjusted gross revenue)," TRAI recommended.
"The telecom players had been saying for long that we need more spectrum, so this move will help them. It will also help them serve customers better with quality services, who were till now suffering from call drops," Rajen S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operator's Association of India - the GSM body - told IANS.
He mentioned that the government can earn more revenue from this spectrum sharing and it will allow the operators to have contiguous spectrum.
"We are very happy that TRAI has accepted our suggestion that TSPs holding administratively allocated spectrum may share their spectrum without paying any additional charge for liberalization. This will allow such operators to benefit from additional spectrum for offering their current tranche of services without bearing an additional financial burden," said Ashok Sud, secretary general, Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) - the CDMA lobby.
Sud, however, said the recommendation "does not provide clarity on sharing of spectrum in those districts where TSPs were not allocated spectrum although they were entitled to it under their licence."
(Posted on 21-07-2014)