DoT to consult on spectrum trading, sharing mechanism

4 Jan 2011

Kapil Sibal, India’s federal telecom minister, has said that the government is planning to discuss the matter of setting down a transparent mechanism encompassing the allocation, trading and sharing of spectrum with key stakeholders, the Wall Street Journal reports. ‘We will, in the next 100 days, hold consultations with key stakeholders to evolve a clear and transparent regime covering licensing, spectrum allocation, telecom tariffs, pricing, linkage with rollout performance, flexibility within licences, spectrum sharing, spectrum trading, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), unlicensed bands and mergers and acquisitions in a technology-agnostic environment,’ the minister noted. Mr Sibal also noted that the consultations will be held after the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has considered recommendations on the matter put forward by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

In separate but related news, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is understood to be preparing to invite bids from private operators to share its third generation network, according to the Economic Times. The operator is thought to believe that it can generate revenue of between INR25 billion (USD550 million) and INR50 billion over five years if it signs roaming agreements with two private cellcos, with BSNL’s acting chairman and managing director Gopal Dos noting: ‘Having tracked MTNL’s success in attracting bids (for sharing its 3G airwaves by entering into roaming agreements), we are working to put in place a similar model.’