Telecom panel tells Trai to review recommendations on 5G spectrum sale

Telecom panel tells Trai to review recommendations on 5G spectrum sale

The Digital Communications Commission, the highest decision-making body in the telecom sector, on Thursday asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to review its recommendations on 5G spectrum sale, scheduled to take place in the calendar year to auction 8,644 MHz of airwaves, and make available a higher amount of spectrum, besides approving the rollout of airwaves for 5G trials in 100 days.

“Trai should revisit the recommendations to see whether they are in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy objectives of Digital India, broadband for all, and proliferation of 5G,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters after the meeting of the DCC.

The Commission comprises senior officials of the NITI Aayog, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and IT, besides the Department of Telecom.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said India would hold auction for 5G spectrum and other bands this year.

The panel asked Trai, while reviewing its earlier suggestions, to ensure competition in the sector, given the fact there is extreme consolidation in the industry.

Because of harmonisation the department has released more spectrum, which can be offered for auction.

Spectrum harmonisation refers to the uniform allocation of radio frequency bands in a region.

DCC members are of the view that all spectrum should be auctioned because it is a valuable resource and unless it is used, there will be no benefit to society, an official privy to the information said.