Regulators

TRAI permits sharing of spectrum in same band

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NEW DELHI: Considering that spectrum sharing results in better spectral efficiency, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today said all  access spectrum in the bands of 800/900/1800/2100/ 2300/2500 MHz will be sharable provided that both the licensees are having spectrum in the same band.

A portion of additional capacity created needs to be counted for the purpose of applying the prescribed spectrum caps of 25 per cent of total spectrum assigned and 50 per cent in a band. For the limited purpose of applying the prescribed market caps, 50 per cent of the spectrum held by the other licencee in the band being shared shall be counted as the additional spectrum being held by the licensee.

Considering the fact that sharing results in additional quantity of spectrum with both the licensees to serve higher number of consumers, the SUC rate of each of the licensees post-sharing shall increase by 0.5 per cent of AGR.

Both the licensees, willing to share their spectrum, shall inform the licensor at the time of entering into spectrum sharing agreement.

The TRAI recommendations on ‘Guidelines on Spectrum Sharing’ were issued after it constituted a Steering Committee consisting of senior officers of TRAI and representatives of all the   TSPs   to frame the guidelines for spectrum sharing in February this year.

On   the basis of deliberations in the Steering Committee and its own    analysis, the Authority has finalised its recommendations on   'Guidelines on Spectrum Sharing'.

Spectrum sharing refers to   an arrangement between two access licensees (CMTS/UASL/UL (AS)/UL) where both licensees having access spectrum in the same band, pool their respective spectrum in the same Licence Service Area (LSA) for their simultaneous use, using a common Radio Access Network (RAN).  The   shared  RAN  will   be connected  to   the  core  networks  of  each  of  the  licensee. Both the licensees will   continue to   hold   their primary right over their own spectrum.

The basic objective of spectrum sharing is to provide an opportunity to the TSPs to pool their spectrum holdings and gain the better spectral efficiency. Spectrum sharing would involve both the   service providers utilising the spectrum. Leasing of spectrum is not permitted.

At present, there are many licensees having administratively assigned spectrum in the 800 MHz 900 MHz and 1800 MHz band. If any one of the two licensees, sharing their spectrum, has administratively assigned spectrum in that band, then after sharing, they will   be permitted to provide only those services which can be provided through administratively held spectrum.

If both the licensees are sharing that spectrum which has either been assigned  through  an auction in  the   year 2010 or  afterwards, or on which the licensee has already paid the prescribed market value (as decided by  the Government from time to  time)  to  the  Government, they can offer   services using all  those  technologies (namely GSM,  CDMA, WCDMA, LTE etc.),   which  they  can  independently  provide through their own spectrum holding.

Spectrum sharing results in better spectral efficiency, TRAI said.

The    recommendations on 'Guidelines on Spectrum Sharing' are available TRAI's website www.trai.gov.in.

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