TRAI recommends sharing of spectrum.
Taking a path breaking step telecom regulator TRAI has recommended sharing of all access spectrum by telecom operators. TRAI has suggested that telcos can share spectrum in the bands of 800/900/1800/2100/2300/2500 Mhz provided that both the operators are having spectrum in the same band. These recommendations if approved by the government will help debt ridden telecom industry to reduce costs and make the best use of spectrum with enhanced spectral efficiency. Telecom operators have been clamoring for spectrum sharing a since a long time and later TRAI constituted a Steering committee in Feb’12 for this purpose. Some of the salient features of the recommendations are as follows.
- All access spectrum i.e.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
- 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 fterwards, 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.
- Considering the fact that spectrum sharing results in better spectral efficiency, a portion of additional capacity created needs to be counted for the purpose of applying the prescribed spectrum caps of 25% of total spectrum assigned and 50% in a band. For the limited purpose of applying the prescribed market caps, 50% of the spectrum held by the other licence in the band being shared shall be counted as the additional spectrum being held by the licensee.
- Considering the fact that spectrum 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% of AGR.
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