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TRAI gets DoT reference on BSNL 4G spectrum allocation

TRAI gets DoT reference on BSNL 4G spectrum allocation

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 March 2019 9:27 AM GMT

New Delhi: The telecom regulator on Tuesday said it has received the government’s reference on 4G spectrum allocation to BSNL and will soon start the consultation process.

“TRAI will soon hold consultations on 4G spectrum allocation to BSNL, we have received the reference some days back,” TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma told the media on the sidelines of an event by ICEA-KPMG on Open OS system.

IANS had first reported the story on March 17 that the DoT has referred the BSNL spectrum issues to TRAI seeking its opinion on allocating 4G spectrum to the state operator. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will cover a number of issues under its consultation including whether the PSUs should be given spectrum outside auction (since they do not bid along with private operators) and also on the issue of allocation of administrative spectrum, price and quantum of 4G spectrum to BSNL.

The BSNL currently has 5Mhz of spectrum on 800 Mhz band. But for an all-India scaling-up of the 4G service roll out, it needs at least a cumulative 10Mhz radiowaves. In Rajasthan, the PSU will use 4G spectrum which it has on 800 Mhz band as per the plan. Sources added that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will abide by whatever views TRAI will give “but let’s see what the regulator says”.

Digital Communication Commission, the inter-ministerial panel, had advised DoT to take the comments of TRAI on this issue in view of the Supreme Court judgement that spectrum cannot be allocated to telecom service providers without auction and also on the quantum and price. The BSNL, which operates all over India sans Delhi and Mumbai, has been seeking 5Mhz of 4G spectrum on 2100 Mhz band for which it had sent a proposal approved to DoT. It intends to acquire 4G spectrum worth about Rs 13,885 crore. (IANS)

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