Millennium Post

Trai for no walky-talky service spectrum allocation auction

New Delhi: Keeping aside observation of the Supreme Court order in 2G spectrum case that spectrum should be allocated through auction, Trai has recommended allotment of radiowaves without bidding route for PMRTS.

"The authority recommends that taking into consideration factors viz PMRTS market conditions; low spectrum demand and high spectrum availability; the assignment of spectrum for PMRTS should be made administratively on the basis of demand," Trai said on late Friday evening.

Unlike cellular services, PMRTS are operated for two-way communication within small distance of around 30 kilometer-range by police, security agencies, construction companies etc.

The recommendations have been made after the telecom department requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to suggest appropriate method of spectrum allocation for Public Mobile Radio Trunking Service (PMRTS).

"DoT through letter dated 6th February 2018, informed the authority that - 'Regarding the methodology of spectrum allocation (and its legality) - auction or otherwise - a policy decision will be taken by DoT, as advised by Trai. Notwithstanding that, Trai may provide its considered recommendations as requested by DoT," the regulator said.

The Supreme Court order in 2012, which cancelled 122 telecom permits that were assigned spectrum administratively for 2G service, said that the spectrum should be assigned transparently through auction.

The DoT in July 2017 has sought regulator's views on method that should be used for spectrum allocation for PMRTS.

"Upon examining the reference, the authority realised that other methods of allocation of spectrum such as administrative allocations etc apart from the auction mechanism were also open for consideration," Trai said.

Following this observation, Trai approached DoT for clarity as to whether it is legally tenable to allocate spectrum by any mechanism other than auction and received go ahead from the department.

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