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Suggestions on flexible use of satellite spectrum misleading, ISpA

Suggestions on flexible usage of satellite spectrum appears to be an attempt to mislead and derail the spectrum allocation process for the preferred launch of satellite communications services, the Indian Space Association (ISpA) said on Monday.

Telecom operators are divided over the allocation of space-based spectrum for launch of satellite communication services with Bharti Enterprises-backed One Web and Amazon pitching for administrative allocation and Reliance Jio backing the auction route.

Recently, Jio had written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and sought flexible use of airwaves between satellite and terrestrial use.

“In response to media reports around seeking the flexible usage of satellite spectrum, on the onset, ISpA would like to state that this submission seems to be an effort to mislead and derail the spectrum allocation process for preferred launch of SatCom services,” ISpA Director General Lt Gen A K Bhatt (retd) told PTI.

ISpA is the representative body of the nascent private space sector in the country.

He said the New Zealand government’s decision on use of 26 GHz spectrum band nowhere advocates the flexible usage of satellite spectrum, it only defines the shared use of spectrum.

“The document clearly states that the New Zealand government decision is a temporary measure and that the final decision on this will be taken by 2026 after prior consultations,” Bhatt said.

He said the private space industry in India is at a nascent stage and the recent successes of the Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L1 mission is a big boost for the growth potential of the industry.

Bhatt said the government’s efforts of nation building and fuelling the Indian space economy calls for administrative allocation of satellite spectrum.

“The Department of Space and IN-SPACe in the past have shown their support for the administrative method of allocation and stated that auctioning the satellite-based spectrum will create a ‘barrier to growth’ and impact the innovation drive of the space sector start-ups and other private players in the country,” Bhatt said. PTI

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