The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Chairman Rahul Khullar on Tuesday held discussions with heads of telecom companies on spectrum trading and said the regulator is likely to release detailed recommendations on the matter before inter-ministerial panel meeting on January 25.
“Definitely,” Mr. Khullar said on sidelines of Convergence India event when asked if the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will be able to release spectrum trading recommendations before meeting of inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission (TC).
The TC meeting is scheduled for January 25 to discuss key issue of spectrum usage charge and other pending policy issue on which the fate of upcoming spectrum auction is depended.
Later in the day, he met heads of mobile firms, including Bharti Airtel (India) Joint Managing Director and CEO Gopal Vittal, Reliance Jio Infocomm MD Sandip Das, MTS India CEO Dmitry Shukov, Uninor CEO Morten Karlsen Sorby and Videocon Telecom CEO and Director Arvind Bali.
“The discussion was around guidelines for spectrum trading. I think the process was quite good, every operator has got different views but the process which was followed was very nice,” Mr. Bali told reporters here.
He added he requested Mr. Khullar to take up the issue of spectrum sharing, which is very good for the industry.
TRAI in September had recommended that private entities be allowed to sell spectrum which as of now is done by the government only.
TC in its meeting in October had given the in-principle approval to spectrum trading and the same was approved by Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram. TRAI was then asked to provide detailed guidelines that should be followed for trading.
TC will have to again have to look at regulator’s detailed recommendation and its view will be sent to EGoM.
Next EGoM meeting is scheduled for January 27 which is also last date for withdrawal of applications by companies from CDMA spectrum auction.
The applicants include — Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone, Airtel, Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Idea Cellular, Telewings (Uninor) and Reliance Communications.
The regulator had suggested that only those companies which participated in auction should be allowed to carry out spectrum trading.
TRAI had said that “only that spectrum should be allowed to be traded which has either been obtained through auction or on which the TSP (Telecom service provider) has paid the prescribed market value to the Government.”