Indian regulator recommends spectrum sharing

Indian regulator recommends spectrum sharing

The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) of India has recommended that operators in the country should be allowed to share spectrum.

The move is aimed at increasing access to spectrum at a lower cost, and will enable two operators that both hold the same band in the same coverage circle to pool spectrum. Previously, operators were only allowed to share physical infrastructure such as mobile towers.

The proposals apply to both 2G and 3G technologies.

“At present, there are many licences having administratively assigned spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands. If any one of the two licensees, sharing their spectrum, has administratively assigned spectrum in that band, then after sharing, they will be permitted to provide only those services which can be provided through administratively held spectrum,” the TRA said in its ‘Guidelines on Spectrum Sharing’.

The proposal could benefit leading Indian operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea, which have near-nationwide coverage. Bloomberg reported that shares in Bharti Airtel jumped by as much as 5.8% following the TRA’s announcement.

The proposals mark the government’s latest attempt to stimulate the country’s telecoms sector, which has been hindered in recent years by a 2G auction row.

Earlier this month, the newly elected government predicted that it would raise approximately $7.59 billion from telecoms proceeds in the present fiscal year.

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