Telecom companies can now buy and sel additional spectrum and this will help consumers
GN Bureau | September 9, 2015
From scarcity to plenty through coopeartion to help the consumer. This seems to be philosophy behind the decision of the union cabinet today to approve rules for spectrum trading. This will allow the telecom companies to buy and sell spectrum.
The move is designed to allow telcos to utilize unused airwaves better. It also allows telcos to acquire spectrum outside of the current auction system and helps struggling telcos looking to exit the business to sell the airwaves they have.
The decision comes a month after the Cabinet approved spectrum sharing guidelines that enable telcos to pool their resources for significantly increased efficiency in spectrum usage.
Telcos are facing severe pressure from the government to fix the call drop problem, with the latter saying that there is enough spectrum in the country.
The first impact is expected to be on the ongoing merger talks between Russia’s Sistema-owned Shyam Sistema Teleservices Ltd (that runs the MTS brand) and Anil Ambani Group promoted Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com). The latter needs the merger for its business continuity purposes.
R-Com will see much of its spectrum expiring in the coming years and has not been able to acquire the necessary airwaves in the last three auctions.
Existing telecom merger and acquisition rules do not allow the merged telco to hold more than 25% of spectrum across the country and 50% in one circle.
According to the approved guidelines, telcos will have to inform the government 45 days before the transaction and will have to pay 1% of the transaction amount as trading fee. Last week, the telcos had made a presentation to the government, asking that the trading fee be kept to a minimum, as otherwise it would amount to double taxation and act as a deterrent.
The telecom commission, the highest telecom policy decision making body in the government, approved the guidelines in June, and submitted it to the Cabinet for approval, almost a year and a half after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) first submitted its recommendations to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Currently, there are around 11 telcos in the country as compared to the five that is considered healthy for any market. This, coupled with the scarce quantum available for the communications services, and fears of radiation from telecom towers in the country, has led to poor service quality, especially in metro areas.
Yield gaps in wheat production in India can be countered with an earlier sowing date, says a University of Michigan researcher. Using a new way to measure wheat yields, Meha Jain, assistant professor at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, found that the wheat yie
Kharpariya village, about 50 km from the headquarters town of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla district, is like many villages in the region, home to the Baiga, deemed a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) for whom permanent contraception methods are banned to prevent extinction. However, care for p
Somabhai Modi says he remembers only one occasion when he offered his younger brother prime minister Narendra Modi advice regarding work. This, he says, was when Modi was chief minister of Gujarat. After one of his weekly grievance redressal sessions, the then chief minister had enquired after the well-b
Should ration cards not linked to Aadhaar be rendered ineligible?
INS Kiltan, the third anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette built under project 28 (Kamorta class), was commissioned into the Indian Navy by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam. The anti-submarine warfare stealth corvet
Maharatna enterprise, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) has supplied defence grade micro-alloyed grade of steel (DMR 249A) steel plates for the indigenously built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette INS-Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy. SAIL’s integ