Telecom Commission likely to meet on May 15

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission is likely to meet on May 15, mainly to discuss spectrum trading and auction-related matters.

"Telecom Commission is proposed for May 15. DoT will place spectrum trading, 800 Mhz band auction and some other matters before it," said an official source.

The panel includes representatives from Finance Ministry, Planning Commission, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and some others besides the Department of Telecom.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India gave its recommendation on January 28 on spectrum trading guidelines, and on auction of the CDMA band (800 Mhz frequencies) on February 22. An internal committee of DoT is learnt to have prepared a report on both the subjects on which the panel has to take final call.

Trai has recommended that only telecom operators be allowed to trade the spectrum that has been purchased through the auction in 2010 and later. It has also allowed trading of those radiowaves for which telecom operators have paid the market rate.

As of now, only government is allowed to allocate spectrum to telecom firms through auctions. Once the trading is allowed, it is expected to increase efficient use of radiowaves by enabling telecom operators, who have a lower subscriber base or unutilised spectrum, to trade in it.

DoT committee handling CDMA spectrum issue, as per sources, have said that it may not be possible to meet Trai's key condition of carving out a 'contiguous spectrum' in the CDMA band before auctioning the radiowaves and is likely to seek a review of the recommendation.

In September, Trai had suggested that no auction be held for the 800 MHz band, which is used by CDMA operators and has potential for 4G services, for want of takers.

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