The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the telecom regulator TRAI are in confrontation regarding the auction of third generation (3G) spectrum. The DoT has now written a letter to Cabinet stating that Trai was going out of its jurisdiction to make recommendations on 3G spectrum while it was only asked to give its views regarding annual spectrum charges.

DoT seems to be now convincing the Cabinet that despite the fact that TRAI was an independent regulatory body, it was not binding on the government to accept every recommendation of TRAI. The issue at stake currently is number of players to be allowed per circle.

DoT only wants to auction spectrum to five players per circle in the forthcoming auction and save some spectrum for future. TRAI, on the other hand, wants DoT to auction all available spectrum so as to promote greater competition in the segment. A final view on the issue now may be taken in the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs meeting.