Regulators

Trai for slashing spectrum charges

NEW DELHI: Telecom regulator today recommended that spectrum fee paid by service providers to the government be lowered to four per cent (of the revenue) and added that a group of ministers be constituted to look into the spectrum allocation issue to further liberalize the regime.

At present, the telecom service providers pay six per cent of their revenue as spectrum charges.

 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai)’s suggestion on reduction of spectrum charges, if accepted by government, could lead to reduction in telecom tariffs, report news agencies.

On the allocation of controversial 1900 MHz band, however, the Authority said it cannot be vacated by the defence sector and, thus, recommended that both GSM and CDMA players be allocated spectrum in the 2ghz bandwidth, PTI stated.

The suggestion on formation of GoM on spectrum is aimed at paving the way for further telecom expansion in the country and to achieve the target of 200 million mobile subscribers by 2007.

 

 

"Trai recognises that US-PCS 1900 MHz bandwidth for CDMA operators cannot be vacated by defence, hence even CDMA services will have to be allocated spectrum in 2 GHz band," the regulator said in a statement here.

Present spectrum allocation criterion for both GSM and CDMA operators may be revised within one month of acceptance of these recommendations such that, while retaining the subscriber base approach, the quantum and steps for additional spectrum allocation and area of co-ordination are technology neutral, PTI quoted Trai as saying.

Commenting on the recommendations, Trai chairman Pradip Baijal said, "We have maintained the technology neutrality stand in our recommendations. Both GSM and CDMA operators have been given equal opportunity to pursue both 2G (voice) as well as 3G (advance mobile

technology) services.

Trai also recommended that a technology neutral policy for allocation of additional spectrum need to be followed for both GSM and CDMA operators. With a view to avoid the hoarding of spectrum, Trai said an additional annual spectrum charge on per MHz basis would be charged for IMT-2000 spectrum till the service provider rolls out such services.

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