The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has begun work on a consultation paper for auctioning of spectrum in four bands: The two crucial satellite bands which include Ka and KU which enable broadband services, and the contentious E band as well as the V band. The E band was recently offered by the DoT for 5G backhaul to operators in the interim at an administrative price, pending a final decision on how it will be allocated.
The regulator has begun the first of what will be a series of meetings, before the recommendations can be released. All the stakeholders, including telcos, satcom players, officials from DoT, DoS, and MIB are expected to be in the discussions.
It may be recalled:
- DoT referred on the auction of two satellite bands as well as the E and V bands to TRAI.
- TRAI said it will come out with consultation papers very soon.
- DoT in the interim offered spectrum in the E band required for backhaul of 5G services pending final decision on allocation method. Companies have to pay the difference between the administered price and auction price later on, if any.
- Broadband Indian Forum opposed auctioning of the E and V bands saying they should be used for expanding public Wi-Fi. Telcos want an auction.
- Satellite broadband service providers like OneWeb favoured spectrum at administrative price. Jio demanded that spectrum should be auctioned and be put to dual use.