TRAI asked to rework on spectrum auction policy by Telecom Commission

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Commission is understood to have asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to rework its policy with regard to spectrum auction.


The directive follows study by an internal committee of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which rejected the regulator’s recommendation to conduct the next round of auction after keeping enough spectrum.


TRAI in its recommendations had said the government should release enough spectrum before the next round of auction which is slated to take place before March 2015. TRAI has the support of major telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications.


The DoT internal committee has said it is not clear when additional spectrum will be vacated by the Defence Ministry. The DoT committee feels that there is no point in stalling the sale of what is already available


In its recommendation, TRAI said the Defence Ministry should vacate the spectrum in the 2,100 MHz band. In addition, TRAI proposed that Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Limited should surrender 1.2 MHz spectrum in the 900 MHz band.


The amount of spectrum being put up for auction early next year is less than the 2G spectrum currently being used by mobile operators whose licenses are due for renewal and this may lead to problems, observers in the telecom industry said.


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