TRAI recommends sharing of all telecom spectrum within a circle; cos may reduce cost of mobile services
The telecom regulator has proposed allowing two telcos to share any category of similar spectrum in a circle, including airwaves allotted at administrative prices, and liberalised a cap on bandwidth that can be pooled in, suggestions that could ensure efficient use of resources, and cheaper voice and data services for users. The much-awaited facility is set to benefit the likes of Bharti AirtelBSE 2.25 %, Idea CellularBSE 2.68 % and Vodafone India, which will be able to add to their stretched bandwidth holdings to service millions of their subscribers, that too without taking part in expensive auctions. Others such as Reliance CommunicationsBSE 1.57 %, Tata TeleservicesBSE 1.58 % and Aircel will be able to put idle capacities to use. Both sets of telcos would generate higher revenue. For consumers, this could mean better quality of voice services – fewer calls dropping – and faster data speeds, and could even translate into lower tariffs as operators’ capital expenditure is likely to fall. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) announced final spectrum-sharing guidelines on Monday. Trai recommended that airwaves in all bands — be it 2G, 3G, 4G — will be sharable but both operators must have that spectrum in the same band. For instance, for two operators to share airwaves in the 900 Mhz band, both must have airwaves in the same band.
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