TRAI’s Recommendations on 5G Spectrum

 

Context:

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendation of cutting spectrum prices for 5G airwaves by 35-40 percent as not gone down well with the companies and the industry associations, who had called for up to 90 per cent reduction.

 

Background:

  • One of TRAI’s main suggestions is to sell all of the available spectrum in the next auctions, rather than allocating some of it as the sector had advocated. For the most widely used band of 3300-3670 MHz, TRAI has proposed a starting price of Rs.317 crore per MHz.
  • It has, however, proposed that the band be preserved for no more than 20 years, and that if the airwaves are sold for 30 years, the base price be increased by 1.5 times.

 

Concerns:

  • One of the initial points of contention is the TRAI-suggested price for 5G spectrum. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), whose members include all three main private telecom companies, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm, and Vodafone Idea, has expressed dissatisfaction with the tariffs.
  • Despite thorough consultations with COAI, the price indicated by TRAI was too expensive, according to the statement.
  • Despite the government’s plan to distribute any new spectrum auctioned for 30 years, the regulator’s move to recommend these pricing just for 20 years has been criticised.
  • The Indian Space Association, which represents all companies in the satellite communications and other space industries, believes that auctioning off all spectrum will be an overstock to terrestrial telecom at the expense of the satellite business.
  • The 24.25-27.5 GHz and 3.3-3.67 GHz bands, as well as the 3.3-3.67 GHz band, would be more than enough for 5G.
  • As a result, in accordance with international best practises, the 28 GHz spectrum should be dedicated solely to satellite communications.

Source: THE HINDU.

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