BANGALORE, INDIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the guidelines on spectrum sharing.
The guidelines were recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
The salient features include:
a) Spectrum sharing would be allowed only for the access of service providers. In a Licensed Service Area (LSA) where both the licensees have spectrum in the same band, leasing of spectrum will not be permitted.
For Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC), licensees shall be considered as sharing their entire spectrum in the particular band in the LSA.
b) All access spectrum including traded spectrum will be shareable provided that both licensees have spectrum in the same band.
c) The right to share spectrum shall be subject to fulfilment of relevant license conditions and any other conditions that may be specified by the licensor or government.
d) A licensee shall not be eligible to share its spectrum, if it has been established that it is in breach of terms and conditions of the licence, and the licensor has ordered for revocation or termination of its licence.
The license can be shared in the following scenarios:
i. Where both the sharing entities possess spectrum for which the market price has been paid for spectrum in 800 MHz acquired in the auction held in March 2013. Spectrum sharing will be permitted only if differential of latest auction price and March 2013 auction price on pro-rata basis on the balance period of right to use the spectrum is paid.
ii. Where one sharing entity has spectrum acquired through auction or liberalized spectrum and the other has spectrum allotted administratively, sharing shall be permitted only after charges for liberalizing the administratively allocated spectrum are paid.
f) The use of technology shall be governed by the terms and conditions of respective Notice Inviting Application (NIA)/license.
g) Both licensees will be individually and collectively responsible for complying with sharing guidelines, including interference norms.
h) Spectrum sharing will be restricted to sharing by only two licensees subject to the condition that there will be at least two independent networks provided in the same band.
i) Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) rate of each of the licensees post-sharing shall increase by 0.5 percent of Aggregate Gross Revenue (AGR).
j) The prescribed limits for spectrum cap shall be applicable for both licensees individually. Further, spectrum holding of any licensee post-sharing shall be counted after adding 50 percent of the spectrum held by the other licensee in the band being shared, being added as additional spectrum to the original spectrum, held by the licensee in the band.
The Cabinet also decided that both licensees sharing the spectrum shall jointly give a prior intimation for sharing the right to use the spectrum at least 45 days before the proposed effective date of the sharing.
A processing fee, of Rs 50,000 which could be modified from time to time, shall be payable individually by each licensee for each service area at the time of intimation.