The Department of Telecom (DoT) is expected to notify within a week spectrum sharing rules while implementation of trading regulations will take some more time. “It (spectrum sharing notification) should happen within a week,” a senior DoT official told PTI.
The government on August 12 approved long-awaited spectrum sharing guidelines that provide operators an alternative to acquire more airwaves than only through auction. Once these guidelines are notified, telecom operators will be able to share their spectrum holding that will help them in decongesting their networks and provide quality phone call services.
When asked about notification of spectrum trading guidelines, the official said that Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg will meet DoT officials on Monday to assess details and due processes. “Only after the meeting, a tentative timeline can be decided,” the official said.
Spectrum trading is also an alternative for operators to acquire more spectrum. In this case, a telecom operator can sell its right to use spectrum to another mobile service provider, which is not allowed under spectrum sharing rules. Telecom operators have asked for clarifications in spectrum trading, like method for determination of price at which they can sell, spectrum cap and if there will some offset allowed on revenue they will earn by trading airwaves. The DoT has set up a committee for the issue of spectrum cap.
Spectrum cap, or the limit on airwaves an operator can hold for providing wireless service, is 50 per cent in a spectrum band identified fit for transmitting mobile signals and 25 percent of the total such spectrum assigned in a telecom circle.
Telecom operators feel that the present cap will deter spectrum trading as big companies, which are potential buyers, will not be able to acquire more spectrum.