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Telecom Department May Allot, Not Auction E&V Bands

Facing a dilemma over the limited number of methods to allot the E&V bands spectrum, DoT may opt for ‘light touch’ approach for allotment for this backhaul radio waves.

The move may also rule out auction of that spectrum and help DoT meet the ‘broadband for all’ goal envisaged in the new draft telecom policy.

‘Light touch’ means a fixed fee for allotment of E band, as has been done in the UK and the US.

Though the Supreme Court has ruled that all natural resources should be monetised through auction, the technical feature — link-to-link nodes – makes auction of E band as a whole impossible. No operator would need the entire band and bidding cannot be done in parts, said an official.

Recommending the ‘light touch’ approach, Trai had earlier suggested Rs 10,000 per link of 250Mhz of E band and Rs 1,000 per link of 50Mhz for V band annually.

According to a NIPFP research paper, under the ‘light licensing’ for E&V bands no registration and individual frequency planning are required. Also, there is no limitation on number of users, it added.

This model has a ‘first come, first served’ feature where the user notifies to the regulator position and characteristics of stations. If two links are installed in one location and there is interference between the two, the link installed first is protected and the second link gets reconfigured or removed to prevent interference.

Advocating de-licensing of V band (60 GHz), TRAI said it has a good device ecosystem and should immediately be made available for consumers. – Financial Chronicle

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