Spectrum sharing likely in new policy

Move may help tide over shortage in telecom sector

They, however, ruled out trading in the 2G spectrum as it was never auctioned.
“Even, Trai had recommended spectrum sharing. Spectrum trading was not recommended due to the fact that 2G spectrum price was not determined by the market as it was bundled with the licence and further allocation was made based on the subscriber base,” according to an internal DoT communication.

Spectrum sharing will help tackle its shortage in the telecom sector as it will enable mobile service providers to lease their surplus radio-waves to other operators on commercial terms. There are several operators who have not been able to garner enough subscribers so as to fully utilise the spectrum alloted to them, especially by the new operators.

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has announced that the government will bring NTP-2011 by the end of this year to address various issues related to the sector. Stakeholders have proposed adequate funding mechanism for service providers, sharing of active infrastructure for better operational efficiency and easier mergers and acquisitions, the note added.

On the spectrum issue, stakeholders are of the view that it should be allotted based on technology neutrality, service flexibility, timely allocation and reconciliation and enhanced transparency.

In May last year, to assess the spectrum requirement of operators per circle and to decide the pricing and allocation of 2G spectrum—for optimising the spectral efficiency of the industry—Trai had released recommendations under the “Spectrum Management and Licencing Framework”.

Trai had recommended that spectrum sharing should be allowed between two service providers as long as each of them does not hold more than 4.4 MHz/2.5 MHz of spectrum (GSM/CDMA). Leasing of spectrum, however, should not be permitted, it had added.

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