Friday, 27 November 2015

TRAI releases Consultation Paper on to expedite the next round of Spectrum Auction

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 26 November 2015 released the Consultation Paper on "Valuation and Reserve Price of Spectrum in 700,800,900, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2500 MHz Bands".
On 9th July, 2015, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) communicated that the Government is planning for auction of right to use of spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz in the forthcoming auction. DoT requested the Authority to provide recommendations on applicable reserve price for auction of spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands for all service areas under the terms of clause 11 (l)(a) of TRAI Act 1997 as amended. DoT also referred to its earlier reference dated 16th October, 2014 and requested the Authority to expedite the recommendations on applicable reserve price for 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands for all the service areas. Further, DoT vide its letter dated 6th November 2015, has sought the recommendations of the Authority on the liberalization of administratively allotted spectrum in the 900 MHz band.
It was noted by TRAI that some media reports blamed TRAI for delaying the spectrum auction. However, TRAI had clarified that information sent along with the DoT's reference dated 9th July, 2015 was not sufficient. The TRAI, through its letter dated 24th July, 2015, had sought the information, which was critical in nature for preparation of the consultation paper. The DoT provided certain information through their letter dated 16th October, 2015. This information was also not complete. Therefore, another letter was sent to DoT on 16th November, 2015 seeking further clarifications. However, to save time, the Authority has decided to issue the consultation paper based on the available information.
In this consultation paper specific issues have been raised for consideration of stakeholders. The key issues raised are quantum of spectrum to be auctioned, spectrum block-size, Spectrum Cap, Roll-out obligations and methods to be used for valuation and estimation of reserve price of spectrum. 
The consultation paper has been placed on TRAI's website Written comments on the issues raised in the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by 21st December 2015 and counter-comments by 28th December 2015. Stakeholders are requested to send their comments by due date as there will be no extension of timelines. 
The comments and counter-comments may be sent, preferably in electronic form at with copy For any clarification/ information Shri Sanjeev BanzaI, Advisor (NSL-II), TRAI may be contacted at Tel. No. +91-11-23210481 Fax No. +91-11-23232677.


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