The following is the quick summary of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s recommendations on auction of spectrum and licenses expiring next year.

The Authority recommends that 1.2 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz band should be taken back from BSNL from all the LSAs where licences expire in 2015-16 except in Punjab. In lieu, BSNL should be assigned 1.2 MHz in the 1800 MHz band only in those LSAs where its spectrum holding in that band is less than 3.8 MHz in this band i.e. in Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

rahul-khullar-trai-chairman

The Authority recommends that the DoT should take a completely fresh look at the implementation of E-GSM band.

The Authority recommends that unused spectrum in the Defence band should not be kept idle. The DoT in coordination with Defence should fix a time frame for migration of Defence from commercial band to Defence band. If because of any reasons, this is not possible then only that much spectrum should be kept reserved for Defence in the Defence band which would make its total spectrum holding 20 MHz in the 1800 MHz band.

In some LSAs viz. Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa, where there is nil or negligible spectrum assignment to Defence in both commercial and Defence band, only 5 MHz can be kept reserved for them for any future requirement. The rest of the vacant spectrum in the Defence band should be put to auction.

The Authority recommends that in the LSAs, where spectrum assigned to Defence in the 1800 MHz band is more than 20 MHz, DoT should coordinate with Defence for the vacation of spectrum held by Defence in excess of 20 MHz.

The Authority recommends that the entire 2×60 MHz in the 2100 MHz band should be made available for commercial use. If required, Defence may be assigned spectrum in the 1900 MHz band (1910-1920/1980-1990 MHz). The Authority also recommends that auctions in this band should be carried out along with the auctions in 900/1800 MHz band.

The Authority recommends that: a) the Government should immediately take action on the Authority’s recommendations of February 2013 on the adoption of APT700 in the country b) the Government should also announce the roadmap for the auction of spectrum in 700 MHz band. This should be done before the conduct of the upcoming auctions in 900/1800 MHz band.

The Authority reiterates its recommendation that the frequency rearrangement in the same band, from within the assignments made to the licensees, should be permitted amongst all licensees irrespective of whether the spectrum is liberalised or not. However, the use of spectrum shall be liberalised only if the entire spectrum holding of a licensee in a particular band is liberalised.

The Authority recommends that all efforts should be made to make available spectrum in contiguous form. Nevertheless, the entire available spectrum should be put to auction.

The Authority recommends that a) Spectrum should be put to auction in a block size of 2 x 200 KHz in both the 900 and 1800 MHz bands. b) In the 900 MHz band, the bidders should be required to bid for a minimum of 2 x 3.6 MHz in those LSAs where spectrum being put to auction is 10 MHz or more and 2×2.4 MHz in the remaining LSAs. c) In the 1800 MHz band, the bidders would be required to bid for a minimum of 2×0.6 MHz spectrum.

The Authority is of the view that a fresh valuation of 1800 MHz spectrum for all 22 LSAs is the preferred way to initiate the process of determining valuation and reserve price of 1800 MHz spectrum for the forthcoming auction.

TRAI recommends that a dialogue needs to be held at the level of the Finance Minister, the Minister of Communications and IT and the Defence Minister to ensure the availability of additional spectrum for commercial use. The Authority is also of the view that the auction should be carried out only after a clear roadmap is available for vacating spectrum in 2100 MHz band from Defence and in 900 MHz band from BSNL.

The Authority recommends that the forthcoming auction should be scheduled after the above issues are resolved and auction in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz band be conducted simultaneously.

The following is the quick summary of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s recommendations on auction of spectrum and licenses expiring next year.

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