Trai recommends raising spectrum holding cap to 35%

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 22, 2017

"The current intra-band cap should be removed".

In a bid to encourage mergers and acquisitions as well as spectrum trading in India's telecom market, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has suggested removing caps on spectrum holding in the individual band. The regulator has also suggested raising the limit for overall holding across all bands to 35% from 25%, which may encourage consolidation as well as participation in spectrum auctions, effectively increasing Indian government's revenue. "Instead, there should be a cap of 50% on the combined spectrum holding in the sub-1 GHz bands - 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands", the body added.

The telecom regulator has proposed to relax spectrum holding limit rules, a move that will benefit the merged entity of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to retain all their airwaves, while also allowing Jio to mop up more airwaves in the 800 MHz band, if it wants to.

Explaining the rationale behind its recommendations for easing the spectrum norms, TRAI has said that the 25 per cent cap was imposed at a time when there were 6-10 operators in a given telecom circle.

The recommendations are in response to DoT's letter in September this year seeking Trai's views on the issues relating to spectrum cap in different circles. After the ongoing consolidation in the sector, the number of players in a service area has come down.

The rules restricting companies from holding spectrum in each band should be removed and there should be a cap of 50% on the combined spectrum holding.

"The spectrum being assigned through auction is a liberalised spectrum". At present, more than 80 per cent of the spectrum held by various service providers is liberalised spectrum, wherein they can use any technology of their choice in any band or using multiple bands, " Trai said. "As LTE (Long-term Evolution) device ecosystem is evolving in each of the spectrum band, there is no real need to put spectrum cap in each spectrum band", it further said. This was done after an inter-ministerial group - constituted to look into the financial health of the sector - recommended that the said matter be referred to the regulator.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE