Existing telecom service providers like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea will have to wait longer for additional spectrum applied for to meet growing subscriber demand.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided to send the recommendation of the spectrum committee on “allocation of spectrum for access services and pricing” to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for its approval.
DoT is formulating a new policy for allotting spectrum and new operators will be issued spectrum only when the policy is finalised. A spectrum committee headed by additional secretary had suggested that 2G spectrum to existing players should be allotted through an auction process.
However, DoT has now suggested that the recommendations of the spectrum committee would be send to the TRAI for its approval. The committee report will be put before the Telecom Commission, including secretaries of finance, commerce and industry ministries.
“We need clarity on allocation and pricing of 2G spectrum for healthy growth of mobile services in the country,” said TV Ramachandran, director-general, Cellular Operators Association of India.
The committee has also recommended a uniform spectrum usage charge for all operators. Currently, spectrum usage charge varies according to the usage.