India’s Department of Telecom is expected to finalise the long-awaited guidelines on spectrum trading and sharing by the end of June.
The country’s mobile operators, with support from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), have long complained that the lack of a clear policy on the topic has severely limited operators’ ability to share under-utilised spectrum resources, which has hurt the operating efficiency of many companies.
Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg said that the guidelines will lower the cost of spectrum and enable mobile operators to operate more efficiently, the Economic Times reported. He said the spectrum sharing and trading guidelines are now a high priority.
TRAI has recommended that operators be allowed to share all spectrum categories. The regulator also has called for the government to allow the trading of spectrum. Currently only the government is allowed to allocate spectrum through auctions.
Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Telewings (Uninor), which didn’t participate in the record auction that ended last week, are waiting for these guidelines to expand their businesses, the Times said.