Government issues guidelines for spectrum trading

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has notified the much-awaited spectrum trading norms, more than a month after the Prime Minister’s nod.

The guidelines for trading of access spectrum will allow telecom service providers to start trading of airwaves that in turn will help in service quality improvement.

According to the guidelines, spectrum trading shall be allowed only between two access service providers, holding Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (CMTS) License, Unified Access Service License (UASL), Unified License (Access Services)(UL(AS)) and Unified License (UL) with authorization of Access Service in a licensed service area.

However, the government maintained auction-winning price as the basis for companies to sell CDMA airwaves that were allocated to them, rejecting the Cellular Operators Association of India’s demand to change the market price.

All access spectrum bands earmarked for Access Services by the Licensor will be treated as tradable spectrum bands. The access service provider who is transferring the right to use the spectrum is hereinafter referred as “Seller” while the access service provider who is acquiring the right to use spectrum is hereinafter referred as “Buyer”. Only outright transfer of right to use the spectrum from the seller to the buyer shall be permitted. Leasing of spectrum is not permitted, , an official statement said.

Spectrum Trading shall be permitted only on a pan-LSA (Licensed Service Area) basis. In case the spectrum assigned to the seller is restricted to part of the LSA by the Licensor, then, after trading, the rights and obligations of the seller for the remaining part of the LSA with regard to assignment of that spectrum shall also stand transferred to the buyer. Further, relevant provisions of NIA with respect to spectrum assignment in part of the LSA, which were applicable to seller before the spectrum trade, will apply to buyer subsequent to the spectrum trade.

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