Facing the 120-day deadline set by the Supreme Court for auction of 2G spectrum that would be vacated by scrapping of 122 licences issued in 2008, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday began the process by issuing a pre-consultation paper on the issue seeking views of all stakeholders.
The Supreme Court in its judgment of February 2 has directed the TRAI to make fresh recommendations for grant of licence and allocation of spectrum in 2G band in 22 service areas (telecom circles) by auction, as was done for allocation of spectrum in 3G band, the telecom sector regulator said in statement.
“On the issue of ‘allocation of spectrum in 2G band in 22 service areas by auction', stakeholders have been requested to send their comments/suggestions on the issues involved,” said Principal Advisor (Mobile Services) Sudhir Gupta. In view of the urgency of the situation, the TRAI has set February 15 as deadline for receiving written comments. “Keeping in view the time-bound nature of exercise, no extension of time will be given,” Mr. Gupta said.
Mr. Gupta also pointed out that on the issue of grant of licences, the TRAI in its recommendation on “Spectrum Management and Licensing Framework” issued on May 11, 2010, had already recommended that all future licences should be ‘Unified Licences' and that spectrum be delinked from the licence. Pursuant to this recommendation, ‘Draft Guidelines for Unified Licensing Regime' were also placed on the TRAI website,” he added.
Keywords: Telenor, Etisalat, 2G spectrum scam, Subramanian Swamy, 2G licenses, 2G trial, Swamy plea, Chidambaram, A. Raja, spectrum allocation, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, NTT, Bahrain Telecom, TRAI, Unified Licensing, 2G re-auction