Telecom Companies to Share Spectrum

The Union cabinet has now permitted telecom operators to share their spectrum space with each other. This will help the companies to improve their network quality. It will also lower their operational costs as they will be able to utilize the unused airwaves.

As per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), call drops on 2G networks have increased twice and 3G networks have increased by 65%. This decision by the Union cabinet will help telecom companies to reduce the call drops.

Rules of spectrum sharing

The spectrum bands of 2G, 3G and 4G all may be shared. This includes the ones that may be obtained through trading or were allocated. In one circle, only two companies are allowed to share their spectrum. They may share it partially or completely.

On sharing the spectrum, the licensee will have to pay an additional charge that will be half a percent more of the average gross revenue. Telecom companies may pay the charges depending on how they use the airwaves and how much revenue they earn from it.

If any one of the telecom operators has obtained the radio waves by auction or through liberalized spectrum and the other company has spectrum allotted administratively then they both may share the spectrum only after a payment is made to liberalize the allocated spectrum.

If companies are sharing the 800MHz band, which was bought in March 2013 auctions, then the companies will have to pay the difference as per the latest prices.

Spectrum caps will be liable to both the companies, separately. A licensee’s spectrum holding, on sharing, will be evaluated after adding 50% of the spectrum, which is acquired by the other company in the band. This will be determined as an additional spectrum. This evaluation process has been introduced so that companies have 50% spectrum caps in a band and 25% of the total spectrum.

The companies are not allowed to lease the radiowaves or trade the spectrum bands. Besides, companies sharing radio waves need to follow some restrictions in the use of technology. Depending on the lower-end services obtained by the companies, the technology will be determined.

Reliance Jio’s telecom services

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm will roll out its commercial telecom services from December, this year. The long awaited Reliance Jio’s launch of high-speed 4G data will change the landscape of telecom industry in India. Experts predict that the company’s entry will affect the business of many major telecom companies.

Reliance Jio will give its data services in half the price of the current market charges. It will offer services like live TV, music streaming, instant messaging, movies on demand, digital payment platform, etc. It will also offer applications related to the education and healthcare sectors. Its instant messaging app, Jio Chat has already been rolled out.

The Chairman, Mukesh Ambani, feels that Reliance Jio’s high-speed broadband services will play a significant role in propelling Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative.

Summary

Telecom companies such as Reliance Jio have now been permitted by the Union cabinet to share their spectrum space with each other

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