Create a Spectrum Ministry

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

It is time for the Indian government to start a spectrum ministry by partly

restructuring its telecom ministry.


First, the ministry has to clear spectrum issues concerning 2G, 3G-BWA, 4G,

and mobile TV. At present, we are not sure what would be the future spectrum

policy. We need a long term spectrum policy to guide the industry and rebuild

its confidence in the system.

Telecom investors are clueless about the timing of 3G-BWA, 4G (LTE), and

mobile TV spectrum auction. Existing operators like Tata Teleservices do not

know when they will get next round of air waves even in a metro like Delhi. On

the other hand, greenfield operators are sitting on the spectrum without

launching services.

The telecom ministry, under the guidance of A Raja, has its hands full

because it is seriously looking at improving the financial health of BSNL-which

is losing its glory-and the future of MTNL. Besides these, rural India wants

immediate efforts from the ministry for connecting it to urban India.


For MNP implementation, which is going slow due to poor management by the DoT

and lackluster support from some of the mobile operators and MNP vendors, the

current ministry will work hard and can take credit as and when it implements

it. Currently, MNP is in trouble. The Indian mobile operators are all set to

miss the April 1, 2010 deadline.

Policies on telecom M&A, divestment in BSNL, tariffs, broadband, continuation

of incentives to operators, security, Chinese vendors, managing its conflict

with Trai, etc, will keep the telecom ministry busy for the next three to four

years. Solving spectrum hurdles involves coordination among different

stakeholders, which is a huge task. The best solution is to start a new ministry

to handle all spectrum concerns.


The new spectrum ministry should create a board to look at the country's

spectrum needs. The board should have representatives from various sector

regulators (ie, communications & broadcasting) and public service

agencies/departments which use spectrum (ie, aviation, defense, etc) and a

number of appointees by the prime minister.

The new ministry can formulate and establish plans and policies that ensure

effective, efficient, and equitable use of the spectrum by different ministries.

The industry needs fresh lease of life. We want to hear a single voice. We need

practical solutions from the top.

Baburajan K