The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on the quantum of spectrum to be auctioned, liberalisation of the spectrum, reframing of spectrum in 800/900 MHz bands, structure of auction, spectrum block size, eligibility criteria for participating in the auction, reserve price, roll out obligations, spectrum usage charges and spectrum trading.
The Department of Telecommunications has already decided that in future, spectrum will not be bundled with licence. The licence to be issued to telecom operators will be in the nature of `unified licence' and the licence holder will be free to offer any of the multifarious telecom services.
In the event the licence holder would like to offer wireless services, it will have to obtain spectrum through a market-driven process. In future, there will be no concept of contracted spectrum and, therefore, no concept of initial or start-up spectrum.
Spectrum will be made available only through market-driven process.
Additionally, assignment of balance of contracted spectrum for existing licensees over and above the start-up spectrum of 4.4 MHz, would be made only in respect of licences found valid. The additional 1.8 MHz will be assigned on their becoming eligible, but at a price determined under the new policy.
The prescribed limit on spectrum assigned to a service provider will be 2x8 MHz/2x5 MHz for GSM/CDMA technologies for all service areas other than in Delhi and Mumbai where it will be 2x10MHz/2x6.25MHz. However, the licensee can acquire additional spectrum beyond prescribed limits, in the open market, should there be an auction of spectrum subject to the limits prescribed for merger of licences.