Telcos give conflicting messages about spectrum allocation

While the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) seeks to establish a particular legal structure for spectrum undertaking, major telecom service providers are at odds. Reliance Jio wants to allot all airwaves through auction alone, while Bharti Airtel wants to give satellite and backhaul airwaves bureaucratically. With the exception of backhaul, Vodafone Idea wishes all spectrum to be leased.

As part of the discussion process for creating a new legal structure to oversee the nation’s telecom industry, all telecom companies have provided their input. According to DoT representatives, a draught paper is being created and will be disseminated for additional feedback from all parties.

Companies in the technology and satellite industries have also opposed using auctions to allot the spectrum. An official mentioned examining the feedback from different stakeholders to determine the best solution. For the growth of the communications industry and the introduction of new technologies, it is a need to create a framework that is prepared for the future.

According to the consultation paper published by the DoT, court rulings and guidelines are presently used to allocate spectrum. The document further clarified that a new law must establish a clear legal foundation and increase administrative clarity. The fundamental rule that must be followed is that spectrum will be allotted in a way that best serves the general welfare and permits broad exposure to telecom services.

Furthermore, regulatory clarification is required for the satellite spectrum. The DoT will lay out a plan for allocating spectrum, whereas the Department of Space will set the overall direction of space planning. The DoT has already referred the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) with a request for suggestions on cost and deployment procedures for the satellite spectrum.