Trai to come out with guidelines on unified licensing, spectrum auction

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is expected to come out with its policy for a unified licensing regime for broadcasting and telecom by the end of this month.

Trai Chairman J S Sarma said the work on the consultation paper in this regard was in the final stage.

Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of the 20th Convergence India organised by Exhibitions India, Sarma also said the guidelines for the spectrum auction would be announced early in April.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Ministerial Group set up by the Communications and Information Technology Ministry has already begun its discussions on the spectrum auction.

In his budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed to raise Rs 400 billion through auction of airwaves including the one to be freed by the cancellation of 122 licences following the Supreme Court‘s order last month. The Budget also proposed to raise a total non-tax revenue of Rs 582.17 billion in 2012-13 from other communication services, as against just Rs165.508 billion last year.

These would also include receipts from spectrum held in excess of 6.2 MHz and receipts from auction of spectrum available with the government, including spectrum to be vacated by 122 licences, in view of the order of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in its 2 February order, had cancelled 122 2G spectrum licences given in 2008 by then telecom minister A. Raja, terming the exercise illegal. The Government has sought time of 400 days to complete the exercise of re-auctioning.

The government is likely to complete the process of spectrum auction including the one for 2G services by January-February next year, a senior Finance Ministry official said last week.

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