Trai view on CDMA spectrum auction placed before EGoM: DoT

Tags: News
Trai's views on CDMA spectrum auction were placed before the Empowered Group of Ministers ahead of seeking fresh recommendations from the telecom regulator on CDMA spectrum auction, DoT officials said.

Trai had sought confirmation from Department of Telecom as to whether its views, alongwith DoT's observations, were placed before the EGoM and if the ministerial panel has sought fresh recommendations on the issue.

"The reply (to Trai letter) will go today," an official source told PTI.

Sources said DoT has confirmed that views of Trai along with that of department's observations were placed before EGoM on telecom, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

"The decision to auction spectrum in 800 Mhz (CDMA) band is a policy of the government in terms of Section 25 of the Trai Act 1997," the source added.

The section is about the government's power to issue direction to the regulator, which "be bound by such directions on questions of policy as the Central Government may give in writing to it from time to time".

DoT and Trai have locked horns on the auction of CDMA spectrum and this is the fourth set of communication between the two within six months on the issue.

The regulator had in September recommended against the auction of CDMA spectrum and suggested that the government explore as to whether a part of 800 Mhz could be used for a E-GSM services.

The DoT had explained to Trai that E-GSM band required vacation of spectrum by the Defence Ministry, which is likely to take time. In this scenario, it added, keeping unsold spectrum in the 800 Mhz (CDMA) band would result in revenues foregone for the government.

On December 13 Trai asked DoT if it has examined the possibility of making alternate arrangements for the spectrum that needs to be vacated by the defence which is hampering path for E-GSM service.

Official sources said DoT has also informed Trai that the process for shifting of defence assignments to other frequency has not started yet.

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