Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued a new notice that communicates the need for some of the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to renew their licences which are set to expire in December and early 2016. DoT has already sent TRAI its recommendations on setting the reserve prices for all the service areas auctioned.
This auction will be extremely crucial for the Telcos as they have to win back the spectrum to ensure consumers won’t be affected. Authorities have also requested to ensure that availability of the additional spectrum before the auction commences. The recommendations are that 1.2MHz spectrum in the 900 MHz band should be withdrawn from BSNL in all the Licensed Service Areas (LSAs) and instead BSNL should be assigned 1.2MHz in the 1800 MHz band restricted to LSAs wherein the spectrum holding in that band is less than 3.8MHz.
The recommendations also suggest that the unused spectrum in the defence section should not be kept idle. The LSAs wherein the spectrum assigned to defence in the 1800MHz band is more than 20MHz, DoT is expected to co-ordinate with the Defence for the allocation of the same.The Entire 2 x 60 MHz in the 2100 MHz band should be put up for commercial use.
Good part is that the Government is expected to reveal the roadmap of the spectrum in the 700 MHz band before conducting the upcoming auctions for the 900/1800 MHz band.
TRAI also made it clear that the auctions should commence only once there’s enough visibility on the availability of the 2100 MHz airwaves which are generally employed for 3G services. The reserve prices will be 10% premium than the last bid that won the auctions. TRAI has justified the hike in the reserve price to the increase in the data usage. If we are to look into the larger picture it is evident that TRAI wants the Government authorities to pool in and collectively ensure that the auction is a smooth process for everyone.