The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will soon submit fresh recommendations on 2G spectrum pricing to the government. It is also planning to come out with a consultation paper on fourth-generation mobile (4G) service by mid-2011.
This was stated by TRAI chairman J.S. Sarma here on Tuesday.
“In the May 2010 recommendations, we clearly said we would be apprising the government of the results of our study…the results will be given in the course of the next few days. This proposal is regarding the pricing of spectrum… — pricing to be done in the future,” he told journalists.
In May 2010, the TRAI recommended the linking of 2G spectrum prices with 3G spectrum. The proposal came after the auction for 3G spectrum where the government earned over Rs. 67,000 crore. However, incumbent mobile operators opposed the TRAI's report, forcing the Department of Telecommunications to seek fresh recommendations.
The TRAI's earlier recommendations included levying a one-time charge on operators holding excess2G spectrum of 6.2 MHz. It suggested that every MHz of spectrum beyond 6.2 should be linked to a 3G auction bid, including at the time of licence renewal.
4G by next year
Mr. Sarma said the TRAI would float a consultation paper on 4G by mid-2011. “I expect 4G to come in India next year…we will bring out a consultation paper on 4G in the middle of this year.”
4G or Long-term Evolution (LTE) will provide a wide range of data rates up to ultra-broadband (gigabit-speed) Internet access to mobile as well as stationary users. The TRAI would look into various aspects, including the spectrum band to be allotted for the 4G service and quantum and modes of allotment to operators.