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DoT to provide details of spectrum availability to TRAI

The department of telecommunications (DoT) plans to provide the details of spectrum availability to the Telecom Regulatory of Authority by this month, which will form the basis of the telecom regulator’s terms and conditions for the 5G auctions expected in another six months.

Trai had asked the the DoT a specific set of queries, as part of the preparatory work for 5G auctions.

Sources said the regulator had sought a clear road map around spectrum availability, usage by government entities and other players like broadcasters as well as the notification of various bands.

The regulator wants clarity on all aspects of spectrum before coming out with a consultation paper for the upcoming auction.

Communications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently said the 5G spectrum auction was likely to take place around April-May next year.

Sources said the telecom department was preparing a national frequency allocation plan (NFAP) which would give clarity on the spectrum bands that would be provided to different stakeholders such as mobile operators, satellite players and broadcasters . NFAP 2018 is being revised and the updated one could form the basis of the next round of radio wave auction.

“The 5G services with its enhanced capabilities have relevance cutting across industry verticals. To take advantage of 5G services for Digital India, the millimetre bands viz. 24.25, 27.5, 31.8, 37 GHz and bands below 6 GHz are under active consideration subject to co-existence studies and global deliberations,” NFAP 2018 had said.

DoT’s reference seeks views of Trai on base price, quantum and all other modalities for spectrum across multiple bands. These include bands such as 700Mhz, 800Mhz , 900Mhz, 1800Mhz, 2100Mhz, 2300Mhz, 2500Mhz bands as also 3,300-3,600 Mhz bands that were not put up for auctions in the last round, and millimetre-wave bands, 24.25-28.5Ghz.

The DoT has sought recommendations on reserve price, block size, band plan, and the amount of spectrum for auction. High spectrum prices have been a long-standing grouse of the telecom industry and the issue has been flagged time and again by prominent players.

The last round of spectrum auction in March this year had fetched the Centre over Rs 77,800 crore for 855.6Mhz of spectrum.

Telecom future
Technological innovations with 5G will redefine the future of telecom in India, while the amalgamation of telecommunications services with upcoming industries and tech enablers will reorient the sector from being a “service provider to a service enabler,” a CII-Deloitte report said.

The report “Digital reset – touching a billion Indians” launched by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP along with the CII, underlines the role of 5G technology as a key enabler and contributor to the success of the enterprise business and in easing the lives of the common man.

Peeyush Vaish, partner and telecom sector leader, DTTILLP, said, “The rollout of high-speed broadband through 5G and satellite broadband will see the convergence of the telecom ecosystem and significantly affect the lives of a billion Indians. It will pave the path for bridging the urban-rural divide across sectors, including banking, healthcare, and education.” The Telegraph

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