COAI has hailed TRAI’s suggestions on 3G spectrum auction, stating that it will help in addressing the acute crunch of airwaves. Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI said that, COAI appreciates TRAI’s recommendations about the auction of 2100 MHz bandm as this will relieve the acute spectrum crunch faced by the telcos.
The 3G spectrum base price recommended by the regulator is 169 percent lower than the amount paid by the operators in 2010. The 3G spectrum auction held back in 2010 attracted the bids of worth RS 16,750.58 crores for 5MHz of frequencies which amounts to Rs 3,350 crore. As per the PTI report, the suggested base price is about four times higher on per megahertz basis when compared to reserve price of Rs. 3,500 crore for 5MHz fixed by the government for last 3G auction.
TRAI has also suggested that DoT should put the additional 15 MHz for auction, which has to be obtained by the defence in exchange of spectrum. The Department of Telecom is supposed to get 5MHz of 3G spectrum (2100MHz band) from the Defence Ministry. COAI has also expressed discomfort with the regulator suggesting the period of three years to roll out network using 3G spectrum that companies will win in upcoming auction.
COAI stated that, the period of three years for the complete roll out can turn out to be strenuous for the service providers as it consists of various aspects incorporating the developing the requisite infrastructure, which may pose a challenge for such a short period. It further added that, DoT has still not finalised the TSTP which describes the complete process for measurements and tests to be carried out to ensure the required roll-out of the 3G network.
TRAI has also asked DoT to finalise the TSTP guidelines as early as possible.