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Telecom Commission May Consider Spectrum Sharing Rules Next Week

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By: Gulveen Aulakh & Anandita Singh Mankotia

Spectrum sharing rules could be the first big-ticket announcement under the new BJP-led government, with the Telecom Commission is likely to meet next week to consider the much-sought-after initiative which will allow optimum use of the scarce natural resource and allow some weaker players to monetize it.

“They (spectrum sharing rules) will be put up for approval in the next Telecom Commission meeting, which should happen next week,” a top official in the telecom ministry, who did not wish to be named, told ET on Wednesday, a day when presentations were made to the new telecom minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, on “spectrum and the licensing issues”.
The Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body in the telecom department (DoT), may next week also discuss issues of availability of spectrum for the next auction, especially in the 800 Mhz spectrum band, the official added. Aspects of taking forward the national broadband plan, a key agenda for the newly elected government, could also be discussed.

The other big decision for the ministry under the new minister will be on whether to challenge the telecom tribunal’s ruling clearing 3G intra-circle roaming, for which the department will seek a legal opinion shortly. The person said that DoT hasn’t sought a view so far since legal officers were likely to be changed after the new government took charge.

A second DoT official said that a structured approach on penalties, making them more rational for the telecom sector, is likely to be notified soon. This will be a positive move for the sector that is facing penalties of roughly Rs 6,850 crore that include fines for minor violations like late submission of papers and absence of placards on mobile towers. Original post at The Economic Times

Wahengbam Rorrkychand

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