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TRAI’s views on spectrum cap consented by Telecom Commission

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Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has in-principle approved TRAI’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendation on determining spectrum holding limits and sought suggestions from the sector regulator to implement it in future auctions.
(Minister of Communications and Information Technology – Ravi Shankar Prasad)

The spectrum cap, the limit of radio- waves a telecom operator can hold for providing wireless services is:

  • 50% in a spectrum band identified fit for transmitting mobile signals.
  • 25% of the total such spectrum assigned in a telecom circle.

TRAI's views on spectrum cap consented by Telecom CommissionBenefits for Operators if TRAI’s recommendation implemented
Trai’s rules will improve other operator’s ability to buy more spectrum which will lead to not only decongesting networks but also help in facilitating much-needed market consolidation.

  •  It will enable Bharti Airtel to acquire an additional 5 MHz of spectrum in Delhi in either 1800 or 2100 MHz band– both these can be used for 4G services.
  • The regulator definition will also help Airtel‘s ability to buy additional spectrum for mobile internet services in nine more telecom circles including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kolkata, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Vodafone will be able to acquire more blocks of spectrum through trading in Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Mumbai under TRAI suggested rule.
  • Idea can acquire more blocks spectrum through trading in 7 of the 22 circles which include Delhi, Gujarat, Mumbai, and Maharashtra.

The panel, which is represented by Secretaries from DoT, Finance, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and others, will firm up its recommendation on the matter which will be send to the Telecom Minister for final approval.