India’s telecom regulator Thursday reiterated its recommendation that the entire available spectrum with the department of telecom (DoT) in the CDMA or 800 MHz band should be put to auction, including unused part with BSNL and MTNL, an official statement said.
As the public sector undertakings, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) are not using the spectrum in the 800 MHz band, therefore, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended: “The DoT should take back from MTNL its entire spectrum holding in the 800 MHz band.”
“BSNL should be allowed to retain only the CDMA carrier in all the LSAs (licensed service area) except in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and northeast, where it can retain both the carriers. The DoT should take back other carriers assigned to BSNL in the 800 MHz band,” it added.
The TRAI recommended the reserve price in the 800 MHz band to the DoT Feb 22. The DoT Nov.14 sought clarifications on the recommendations.
The recommendations said chances of participation by a prospective new bidder will be more if its offered contiguous 5 MHz of spectrum.
“At least one chunk of contiguous 5 MHz spectrum (that is four carriers) should be carved out before the auction. New entrants must be assigned the earmarked contiguous carriers only,” the sector regulator added.