Spectrum Allocation Kept on Hold

by CXOtoday Staff    Aug 18, 2009

Zhe finance ministry has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to ensure that no allocation of spectrum is made till the Spectrum Review Committee s report was finalised.

The spectrum committee, headed by the additional secretary in DoT, had given its report in May on whether the existing players can get spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz and the pricing of 2G frequency. The committee in its report recommended that 2G spectrum should be auctioned and not allocated as per subscriber-linked criteria, as is done currently.

The committee comprised government representatives, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), telecom technology experts and industry executives. The objective of the committee was to resolve a number of issues related to the 2G spectrum allocation policy.

DoT sent the report to Trai on July 7 asking for its recommendations on the 2G spectrum report. Earlier this month, the regulator asked the government to keep in abeyance the grant of new 2G licences till the regulator finalises its recommendations.

As per regulations, Trai has to launch a consultation process and garner views of all stakeholders before issuing recommendations.

Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular are among the major operators awaiting additional spectrum in several circles as they have reached the prescribed subscriber base, making them eligible for additional spectrum.

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