The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) might go ahead and come out with a way to allocate spectrum administratively. The telcos have opposed this as they believe everyone should get the spectrum through a fair route of auction. In fact, this would be an unprecedented move from the DoT.
According to a Financial Express report, the DoT is thinking about how it can administratively allocate spectrum in the future. The telecom department feels that the spectrum available is abundant with respect to the number of telecom operators present in the market. Post the entry of Reliance Jio in the market, most of the telecom companies went out of business.
Spectrum Auction Route Creating Hindrances for Satcom, Backhaul
Because there’s only one way of allocating spectrum in India, which is through an auction, it is creating hindrances for emerging applications such as satcom and also creates problems for strengthening the backhaul. Thus, administratively allocating the spectrum could be a useful move in the future.
DoT believes that there should be more modes of allocating spectrum than just the auction route. The telecom department wants to identify and map down a clear policy about how this can be done.
The Supreme Court in the past had said that the spectrum must be allocated through the auction route only. Since it is a natural resource that is scarce in nature, the apex court had said that the auction route is the best way to go for maintaining transparency.
The report mentioned that DoT might seek legal opinion on the matter. The telecom operators recently opposed the move of allocating spectrum administratively to the corporates for creating private 5G networks. Further, the telcos don’t want even the satcom companies to get spectrum allocated in any other way than through an auction. This is because the telcos believe anyone who wants spectrum should get it the same as they are getting it to keep things fair and transparent.