Sectoral regulator TRAI has extended the date to May 12 for receiving comments on a consultation paper on the pricing and allocation of microwaves in access and backbone networks.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had asked stakeholders to send their comments by April 21 and counter comments by April 28.

“Keeping in view the request of stakeholders for extension of time for sending their comments and also importance of the issue, all the stakeholders may now submit their written comments by May 5, 2014 and counter comments by May 12, 2014,” TRAI said in a statement.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) had asked TRAI to furnish recommendations for allocation and pricing of microwave access (MWA) and microwave backbone (MWB) radio frequency carriers, the regulator said.

Microwave technology is widely deployed by operators to provide point—to—point radio frequency links in mobile networks.

Microwave carriers in the frequency bands of 10 GHz and beyond are called MWA carriers and below 10 GHz are called MWB carriers.

All voice and data signals — conversations, SMSs, video downloads —travel through the backhaul network.

Releasing the paper, Trai had said the requirement of mobile backhaul capacity is anticipated to grow significantly due to the increasing use of newer multimedia and other data centric applications being provided through the deployment of third and fourth generation.

The TRAI had sought comments from stakeholders on issues such as number of microwave carriers need to be assigned to telecom operators in case of 2G, 3G and BWA technologies, preferred mechanism of assignment of the carriers, like administrative mechanism or through auction.

It had also sought comments on the criteria for allocation of additional carriers and pricing mechanism.

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