The key regulator of the fastest growing telecommunications market in the world, TRAI shared its views on the various issues plaguing the Indian Telecom Sector. Excerpts from the discussion areas follows,

  • Spectrum Pricing – TRAI expects directives on spectrum pricing – one-time charges and future spectrum costs on license renewals – to be issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) within the next month. Most of it will be covered in the New Telecom Policy of 2011.
  • Release of Spectrum – TRAI expects 10-15MHz of spectrum (2G/3G) to be released within the next one year, primarily by the defence forces. However, this is subject to the completion of an alternate optic fibre network for the defence forces.
  • Future Spectrum to be Auctioned – TRAI indicated that the possible frequency bands which could come up for allocation include those in the 700 MHz, 2100MHz and 2500-2600MHz bands. All future allocations would be auctioned, to ensure transparency in the system.
  • Rollout Obligations & Cancellation – TRAI said that its recommendations to cancel licenses were purely based on the non-fulfilment of rollout obligations. We understand that the DoT reserves the right to cancel licenses after hearing out the responses to the show-cause notices issued recently to the Telcos. New Operators are seeking shelter under the excuse of ban on import of Chinese Equipment etc
  • TRAI on 3G – TRAI said that video calling may not be a big success and that internet usage will revolve around increasing usage of corporate e-mails, social networking sites / applications. TRAI believes that 3G could find more usefulness in mobile banking, e-health and e-education.
  • TRAI a messy Regulator – TRAI is optimistic that the current issues in the sector would be cleared up in the next 2-3 months.

Well, do you agree with TRAI and its views ?