However, it will be permitted only if the operator owns spectrum in just one company.
“The substantial equity/cross-holding requirement should only be linked to spectrum holding...,” the TRAI said.
This means that a mobile service provider can own a company that is operating fixed line services in the same service area. This was not permitted under existing guidelines. At present, an operator is allowed to own more than 10% equity in only one company in a service area.
The regulator has also recommended that sharing of the spectrum should be permitted for the new operators. Old operators will have to pay the new price of spectrum determined through the auction.
“Operators, whose entire spectrum holding in a particular band, (900Mhz/1800 MHz and 800 Mhz band) has been liberalised and would be permitted to share spectrum without any additional one-time spectrum charge,” recommended the regulator.
If accepted, this would be a major relief to the new operators. Service providers are demanding that spectrum sharing should be permitted as it would reduce the cost of providing services and would increase efficiency..