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No decision yet on TRAI recommendations
TT Correspondent |  |  02 Dec 2011

The Telecom Commission meeting remained inconclusive yet again today and no decision has been taken on sectoral regulator TRAI''s recommendations on M&As and the pricing of spectrum.

 

The commission will meet again on December 9.

"We will have another meeting. We have now covered about 60 per cent of the TRAI's recommendations and we would have another meeting on the December 9 and our effort would be to complete it...We have covered most of the issues related to spectrum requirement and availability and the issues relating to licensing," Telecom Secretary and Chairman of Telecom Commission R Chandrashekhar told reporters here.

He added, "As I mentioned last time, we had discussed the issues relating to pricing and merger and acquisition... so, whatever are the remaining issues as well as the residual issues on these topics, will be taken up on December 9. We will only freeze all these discussions when we complete the whole deliberations."

On the issue of pricing of 2G spectrum, Chandrashekhar said, "That is also being looked at, and all the suggestions which have been made both by operators and TRAI...have been kept in mind."

The Telecom Ministry is likely to finalise the National Telecom Policy, 2011 and all these issues have to be resolved prior to that.

Last month, TRAI had sent the recommendations to DoT, which had sought some clarifications.

While standing by its recommendations of over six-fold jump in the 2G spectrum price, TRAI had left the decision for levying a one-time charge for additional spectrum beyond the contracted limit of 6.2 Mhz to the government.

It had recommended that each Mhz of additional spectrum, after the 6.2 MHz limit held by operators, should have one-time cost of Rs 4,571.87 crore for all of India.

However, from circle to circle, it would vary and the operators would have to pay only for those areas where they hold extra spectrum. It had also suggested delinking spectrum from licences.

To ensure a level-playing field among operators, TRAI had recommended that if an entity, post a merger or acquisition, has up to 35 per cent market share, it would be considered in 'green line' or safe harbour.

Above 35 per cent but less than 60 per cent would be referred to TRAI, which will carry out detailed examination to ensure that there is no market dominance abuse.

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02 Dec 2011(IST)  
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