Reliance Jio, India’s number one telecom operator and Vodafone Idea (Vi), want the satcom industry to receive spectrum via spectrum auctions. However, the Broadband India Forum (BIF) believes that going with the auctions isn’t the best route to provide spectrum to the satcom industry.
According to a FinancialExpress report, BIF believes that since the spectrum used by the satcom players isn't exclusive to an operator like it is with the terrestrial spectrum allocated to the telecom companies, the auctions for the satcom industry won’t make any sense.
BIF Against Views of Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea
BIF President TV Ramachandran told the publication that globally, spectrum to the satcom industry is provided on a ‘right-to-use’ basis, and the spectrum is allocated via an administrative process. The charge against this spectrum is only to cover the cost that’s borne by the administration for the allotment.
Ramachandran further said that satellite spectrum is not provided in the same terrestrial manner the way it is provided to the telecom operators. Instead, in the case of satcom companies, the spectrum is shared by multiple operators and coordinated internationally for all types of satellites and orbital slots.
Multiple operators are going to enter the Indian market with their satellite broadband services in the next year. Companies including Bharti Airtel backed OneWeb, Elon Musk owned Starlink, and Amazon’s Project Juniper has plans of providing satellite internet in India very soon.
The satellite broadband services will ensure that even in the remotest areas of India where the traditional mobile networks are inaccessible, these satellite broadband signals reach and keep the people connected.
No wonder why Bharti Airtel has no stance in this matter yet because one of its companies (OneWeb) is planning to provide satellite broadband services in India. But Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea have voiced their opinion, and they want all the operators to get their spectrum via auctions in a fair and square manner.
Reliance Jio wants that any spectrum that can be utilised for providing mobile network services should be included in the auctions. Further, the telco wants both terrestrial and satellite operators should be allowed to participate in the auctions so that they can bid for the spectrum they want.