DoT rejects Trai plan on spectrum trading

New Delhi, Jan 4 | Updated: Jan 5 2006, 05:34am hrs
The department of telecom (DoT) has rejected the Telecom Regulatory Authority of Indias (Trais) suggestion to introduce spectrum trading. DoT secretary JS Sarma told FE that no such proposal was under the departments consideration.

In its consultation paper issued on Monday, Trai had said that allowing spectrum trading would enable a new entrant to use the spectrum of an existing operator, provided it is able to compensate the operator.

At present, if an operator finds a telecom service to be unprofitable and wishes to provide broadcasting services which he finds more profitable, the existing spectrum allocation rules stand in his way. Trading will ensure that spectrum, as a scarce resource, is always put to the best use, Trai said.

Besides DoT, telecom operators are also opposed to spectrum trading since they fear entry of foreign operators through piecemeal buying of spectrum from existing operators.

The department has also rejected the idea of mandatory roaming agreement. We cannot frame a guideline on mandatory roaming as BSNL does not allow it in any of its networks, Mr Sarma said.

On the issue of rural infrastructure sharing, the secretary said discussions were on, and a guideline may be issued soon. The defence services may also be asked to vacate some spectrum this year, he indicated.