TRAI should be consulted again on re-farming: Planning Commission

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 25, 2012

The Planning Commission has taken a view that there should be more consultation before deciding on the issue of shifting incumbent GSM operators from the 900 Mhz spectrum band. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, in a note to the Finance Minister has said “while there is agreement among all participants on the need for re-farming there is a desire for more consultation on the specific modalities,” Ahluwalia said in the note to the Chairman of the Empowered Group of Ministers

“We would be well advised to seek further guidance from TRAI on the logistics of an orderly migration of services now being provided in the 900 Mhz band into the 1800 Mhz or any other bands well before the due date of expiry of the present licences beginning in 2014,” Ahluwalia said. He has questioned the options given by the Department of Telecom on grounds that these were not part of TRAI's earlier recommendations. DoT has proposed to take away the entire 900 Mhz band from incumbent GSM players and auction it. Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular oppose the move on grounds that the cost is too high. The EGoM is yet to take a final decision but if the Commission’s views are accepted, it could delay the entire re-farming process.


Published on October 25, 2012
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