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Policy & Regulation
Digital Communications Commission to discuss charging of spectrum fees on usage basis
TT Correspondent |  |  05 Feb 2019

The Digital Communications Commission (DCC), formerly Telecom Commission, is likely to discuss on Tuesday a methodology to charge spectrum fees on the basis of usage. The decision will also cover crucial backhaul spectrum in E and V bands that can be used for connecting mobile towers at short distances and transmitting data between them.

"DCC is likely to discuss on charging fees or one-time payment of spectrum that is allocated to organisations for various purposes. It is likely to be determined based on four categories," an official source told.

A committee under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has been working on classification of spectrum allocated to various organisations and how they should be charged in compliance with the Supreme Court order dated February 2, 2012, in which the court annulled 122 telecom licences.

Radiowaves used for transmitting signals to mobile phones are referred to as the access spectrum, while backhaul spectrum augments signals between mobile towers at the back-end.

DCC, the apex decision-making body at the DoT, may discuss issues such as levying of charges for backhaul spectrum used by commercial entities; spectrum allocated to organisations for internal use only and not being used to generate revenue; spectrum allocated for public services and not linked to commercial gains like police communications and railway signals.

Data through E (71-76 gigahertz frequency and 81-86 Ghz) and V (57-64 Ghz frequency range) band can be transmitted with speed of around 1,000 megabit per second. Spectrum in these bands can ease work of telecom operator from laying optical fibre cable.

Telecom companies are divided on E and V band spectrum allocation on whether the spectrum in these bands should be auctioned or given administratively. Telecom regulator Trai has recommended allocation these radiowaves at a fixed rate.

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