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Spectrum sharing norms to get Cabinet vetting

Spectrum sharing norms to get Cabinet vetting

Mobile phone users can look forward to better quality of service from telecom firms with the Union Cabinet expected to approve the much-awaited spectrum trading and sharing norms soon.

The Department of Telecom has sent the norms for trading and sharing norms of radio waves to the Cabinet seeking approval, and the issue may come up for discussion any time, sources said.

The Telecom Commission, headed by Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg, had approved the draft proposals this month.

Spectrum trading will allow a firm to sell or buy from another company, while sharing is allowing a firm to share unutilised radio waves with another firm. The telecom industry has been demanding the Centre to allow it to share and trade radio waves, which experts say, will pave the way for consolidation in the sector as well as efficient use of scarce resources. Sharing could reduce traffic congestion on the network and improve the quality of services in terms of both voice calls, as well as data speed, said an official at the Department of Telecom.

Telecom companies have been blaming shortage of spectrum for frequent calls drops.  Trading will help consolidate the sector where loss making telecom firms can sell their assets.
Last year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) suggested the sharing of all categories of telecom radiowaves held by operators, including spectrum allocated at the old price of Rs 1,658 crore, or assigned without auction.

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