Spectrum trading norms to be out this month: Telecom Secretary

NEW DELHI: India’s Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg has said that the spectrum trading guidelines will be out this month, while the spectrum sharing norms will be notified in a few days.

“Our government’s objective is to enable mobile operators to utilise/sell the excess available airwaves in a better way and to check the call drop issue. The guidelines have been finalised in such a way as to promote India as one of the most favoured destinations to do business in the telecom industry,” he said while addressing the CII Telecom Convergence Summit organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here today.

“The issue of spectrum sharing which was hanging for a long time has now been finally approved and the related guidelines are ready and have been sent to the Telecom Minister for his final approval and will be notified by coming Monday,” he further informed.

Of late, the cabinet has given its nod for both sharing and trading of spectrum. Spectrum sharing guidelines will provide operators an alternative to share the unused or excess spectrum available with them with other players and spectrum trading will allow them to look for an alternative way to acquire more spectrum.

In this case, a telecom operator can sell its right to use spectrum to another mobile service provider, which is not allowed at present.

Once these guidelines are notified, telecom operators would be able to share their spectrum holding that will help them in decongesting their networks and provide quality phone call services.

Sharing the government’s key policy initiatives in the telecom sector, he announced that “Considering optical fibre network as the backbone of the telecom sector, we have reached it out to 25,000 villages, ie 60,000 kilometres in the last one year and aim to reach to another 55,000 villages in the next 4-5 years.

“We have also created an exclusive plan for reaching out the mobile connectivity to the Himalayan states like Uttarakhand, Himachal, Jammu & Kashmir etc and the remote villages across the hilly states and the North east region, with 2000 towers already put up and another 3000 to be put up soon. A special financial package has been allocated for the same,” he said.

The government has identified broadband and mobile networks as key growth pillars under Digital India, but it will serve the purpose by bringing about favourable policy initiatives, lesser regulatory hurdles, process improvements, removing capacity constraints, adopting efficient operational models and by leveraging the emerging technologies like Cloud, Social Media, Analytics and mobility.

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