Spectrum Management

by Snehashish Ghosh last modified Mar 15, 2013 07:07 AM
Snehashish takes us through the entire process of spectrum management — auctioning and allocation process for all kinds of spectrum, the initial process of auctioning, how the bidders are selected, criterion for allocation, time taken to allocate, selection of band, interference issues, spectrum refarming, and spectrum reallocation.
  • 3.5.1. Unit 1: Auctioning and allocating process for all kinds of spectrum
  • 3.5.2. Unit 2: The initial process of auctioning
  • 3.5.3. Unit 3: How are the bidders selected
  • 3.5.4. Unit 4: Criterion for allocation
  • 3.5.5. Unit 5: Time taken to allocate
  • 3.5.6. Unit 6: Selection of band
  • 3.5.7. Unit 7: Interference issues
  • 3.5.8. Unit 8: Spectrum Refarming
  • 3.5.9. Unit 9: Spectrum Reallocation

3.5.1: Auctioning and allocating process for all kinds of spectrum

Auction of spectrums was introduced in the telecommunication market after the failure of the administrative process of allocating spectrum. In auction theory, an auction takes place when there is a seller who wishes to allocate an object to one of ‘n’ buyers.[1] Auctions use a price mechanism to allocate spectrum. Auction of spectrum can be used to increase efficiency and earn maximum revenue. However, auctions of spectrum also have certain drawbacks such as collusion and higher price of telecom services due to high licence fees.

Some of the different types of auction formats are:

  • First-price sealed bid auction: The highest bidder wins the auction. Such highest bidder pays an amount equal to the bid amount and it is not essential that the bidder with the highest value will place the highest bid. The bid is based on the speculation what other bidders will be bidding.
  • Second-price sealed bids auction (Vickery auction): This procedure of auction is similar to first price sealed bid auction. The highest bidder wins the auction but he has to pay the price equal to the second highest bid.
  • Dutch auction: The auctioneer quotes the highest price for the subject matter of the auction and gradually decreases price.  The first one to bid for it wins the auction.
  • English or Japanese auction: In English auction, the auctioneer quotes the minimum price and the buyer bids an amount higher than the minimum price. The bidding is closed when there is no increase in the amount and the highest bidder wins the auction. The other variant of English auction is Japanese auction. In this format, the auctioneer quotes a low price and gradually increases the price which is pre-determined. The bidders should show willingness to buy at the price quoted by the auctioneer. The bidding closes when only one bidder is left, who is willing to buy the object at the price quoted by the auctioneer.

Minimum Reserve Price

The minimum reserve price is generally fixed with the purpose of increasing revenue. Minimum reserve price is the minimum amount which the auctioneer is ready to auction the object for.  The computing of minimum reserve price is a complicated affair. The computing of minimum reserve price requires knowledge about the distribution of valuations of bidders.[2]

Beauty Contest

The other mode of allotment of spectrum is through beauty contest. In a beauty contest, generally a committee is constituted which sets a certain standard and requirements which has to be fulfilled for the allocation of the spectrum. Contenders for the spectrum allocation is then evaluated and decided upon an entity which has the best capabilities to carry out functions.

“In the case of spectrum allocation for mobile services, criteria set out beforehand can include general criteria such as financial resources, reliability and investment in research, as well as more specific criteria such as the speed of network rollout, the requirement for geographic and/or population coverage, pricing, quality, technology and competitiveness.”

In case of auction the price mechanism to be implemented is crucial whereas in a beauty contest it is one of the requirements.[3]

3.5.2. & 3.5.3.: The initial process of selection of operators for allocation of spectrum

This selection will explore the changes in the selection process for allocation of spectrum with changes in the policy. This will look at

  • Auctioning of spectrum under the National Telecom Policy, 1994
  • Bundling of spectrum with the service licence
  • Delinking of spectrum from the licence and return to the auction format for allocation of licence

India had an early start in the field of auctioning of spectrum. Initially, under the 1994 policy, spectrum was included within the telecom licence. The licences were auctioned by the Department of Telecommunication, the incumbent regulator, policy maker and enforcer.

The National Telecom Policy, 1994, acknowledged the fact that it was not possible for the Government, alone to achieve targets under the Policy and there was a need for private participation. As a result, in 1995, the Government invited bids for private investment through a competitive process in the field of basic telecom services sector.

For the implementation of the service the country was divided into 20 circles. It was further categorized in A, B and C on the basis of the potential of the region to generate revenue. The Department of Telecom awarded licences to two operators per service area for cellular mobile telephone services and in case of basic telephone services.

The potential service providers in order to be eligible for bidding for licences had to partner up with a foreign company. It was considered that a standalone Indian company will not have the financial capability and technical know-how to provide cellular/basic telecom services at a large scale.

The bidding was a two stage process for all licences. The first stage was to fulfill the criteria, which was based on the financial net worth of the company (in relation to the category of circle) and the experience of the company in providing telecom services. The second stage was with respect to the valuation of bids. The licence was awarded to the telecom service provider, which has fulfilled the pre-requisites and is the highest bidder for the licence. Single stage bidding process was followed in circles. There were separate licences issued for the four metropolitan cities (Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, and New Delhi). The licences were awarded through beauty contest in metros.

The technology preferred for cellular services was GSM and for basic telephone service, a combination of fibre optics and wireless in local loop technology was implemented. In 1995, Government auctioned 2*4.4. MHz of startup spectrum for the GSM based mobile services.

Drawbacks in the mechanism of issuing telecom licence

The problem which arose due to the implementation of the above model is that multiple licences were awarded to a single entity. A single company was able to secure licences for nine circles and had a very high bid. This created problems as to the ability of the company to pay the licence amount for all the circles. In figures the annual turnover of the company was $0.06 billion where as the estimated licence fee was $15 billion. There were also concerns with respect to replacing the public monopoly on telecom services with a private one. In order to counter these problems the Government changed its policy and allowed the winning bidder to choose 3 circles out of the nine circles. There was rebidding in 15 circles with the government specifying a reserve price. This was due to the change in policy as the highest bidder was not able to operate in more than 3 circles. The response to this was very poor and it was perceived by the bidders that the reserve price was too steep.

Spectrum Management under New Telecom Policy, 1999

The policy on spectrum management under the NTP, 1999:

  1. With the immense growth in new technologies there has been an increase in demand for telecommunication services. This has led to increase in demand for spectrum and therefore it is necessary that the spectrum should be utilized efficiently, economically, rationally and optimally.
  2. Transparent process of allocation of frequency spectrum.
  3. Revision of the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) and such a Plan to be made public by the end of year 1999. The NFAP will detail information about allocation of frequency bands.
  4. NFAP is to be reviewed no later than every two years and it should be in tune with regulation under the International Telecommunication Union.
  5. Adequate spectrum should be available, to meet the increase in need of telecommunication services.
  6. Revision of spectrum allocation, in a planned manner in order to make available required frequency bands to the service providers.
  7. Allocation of spectrum of frequency should be in conformity with the ITU guidelines. The following action will be adopted:
  • Spectrum usage fee shall be charged
  • Inter-Ministerial Group to be constituted, it will be known as Wireless Planning Coordination Committee. It will be a part of the Ministry of Communication for the purpose of review of spectrum availability.
  • Computerization of WPC wing

Implementation of the Spectrum Management Policy under NTP, 1999

With the advent of the 1999 Policy, cellular mobile service providers were allowed to  provide all kinds of mobile services (voice, non-voice messages, data services and PCOs), which would utilize any type of network equipment that  meets the ITU/TEC (International Telecommunication Union/ Telecommunication Engineering Centre) standards. It is also to be noted that the mandate of only using GSM was done away with and the cellular licence was made technology neutral.   The New Telecom Policy, 1999 allowed the migration of the licensees from a Fixed Licensee Fee Regime to a Revenue Arrangement Scheme (w.e.f. 1/08/1999). The National Telecom Policy also laid down that the licences will be awarded for a period of 20 years and it can be extended for a period of another 10 years. The Government entered the telecom market as the third mobile operator. It granted licence to MTNL in 1997 for two metros (Delhi and Mumbai). In 2000, cellular mobile operator licence was granted to BSNL, as the third operator for all areas except Mumbai and Delhi. The 900 MHz band was given to the government operator on a pro-bono basis.  In 2001, a fourth cellular mobile service operator was allowed in the telecom sector. The licence for the fourth operator was issued through a three stage auction.  A start-up spectrum of 2*4.4 MHz in 1800 MHz was allotted to the winner of the auction. The licensees were also required to pay a percentage of annual revenue as spectrum charge. This was collected in addition to the entry fees.[6]

The other licences which were rolled out under the NTP, 1999 are licences for National Long Distance Service operators (without any bar on number of operators), International Long Distance Service and Internet Service Providers.

Unified Access Service Licence

In 2003, TRAI proposed a Unified Licensing Regime which was introduced by the Government in November, 2003. The unified access service licence “permitted an access service provider to offer both fixed and/or mobile services under the same licence, using any technology.” [8] An entry fee was charged, which was based on the bid price paid by the fourth mobile operator.[9]

The TRAI reviewed the spectrum allocation process in the year 2005. It took into account spectrum availability and also considered efficient techniques for the utilization of already allocated spectrum. The consultation paper prepared by the TRAI in 2005 stated that the spectrums allocated by the GSM and CDMA operators are well below the international averages. TRAI recommended that the existing operators should be allocated sufficient spectrum before allocating spectrum to new service providers.

Allocation of 3G and Broadband Wireless Spectrum

Spectrum for 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) was auctioned using the simultaneous ascending auction process. It involved a two stage process. A clock stage in order to indentify the winner for each circle which was followed by a assignment stage, for identification of specific frequency band. The auction of spectrum for 3G and BWA generated a gross revenue of Rs. 106262 crores for the Department of Telecom, across the 22 telecom circles.

3.5.4 & 3.5.6.: Selection of Band and Criterion for further allocation of spectrum

This section will go into the details of the allocation of specific bandwidth across various frequency bands and also analyze the change in allocation criterion for allocation of spectrum. This will also look at the process of allocation followed by India which has been quite different from the international practices due to hoarding of spectrum by the defense forces. It will also bring out the concern showed by TRAI as to scarcity of spectrum and shortcomings in the allocation of spectrum as compared to the international practices.

Start-up Allocation of Spectrum (1995- 2001)

Before the liberalization of the telecom sector, the bandwidth intended for commercial exploitation was under the control of the Defence forces in India.  This consisted of 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz frequency bands. The commercial exploitation of the spectrum started with the grant of the Cellular Mobile Telephone services in the metro cities.

As discussed in Module 3.5.1(add link), the first round of auction of spectrum was for two CMTS licences in each circles. The DoT auctioned 2*4.4 MHz (paired frequency division duplex spectrum assignment) for GSM technology in the frequency band of 890-915 MHz paired with 935-960 MHz in each circle.

Subsequently, the Government entered the market as the third cellular operator in the 2001. A bandwidth of 2*4.4 was allocated to the start up government cellular operators free of charge in the 900 MHz band. The fourth cellular operator entered the market in 2001 and a start up spectrum of bandwidth 2*4.4 MHz was allocated to the operators in the frequency band 1710-1785 MHz paired with 1805-1880 MHz.

The Department of Telecom also allowed further allocation of spectrum apart from the start up spectrum allocations. This was based on the availability and justification provided by the operator for allocation of more bandwidth. In 2002, the Department of Telecom introduced the Subscriber Based Criterion for the allocation of spectrum. According to this criterion, surplus spectrum would be allocated to the operator, with a certain amount of subscriber base.  This was followed by allocation of 2*12.5 MHz bandwidth to each operator within each circle.

However, this method of allocation of spectrum was totally different from the allocation of spectrum in the other countries. A sizeable bandwidth of 2*15 MHz was allocated as start-up spectrum in various countries. This was not the case in India and the Department of Telecom cited that due to non-availability and hoarding of spectrum by defence such a policy had to be adopted.

Table 1: Allocation of Spectrum on the basis of the “Subscriber Based Criterion”, 2002

Quantum of Spectrum Allotted Minimum Subscriber Base Required (in millions) Annual Spectrum Charges (per cent of the adjusted gross revenue)
2*4.4 MHz - 2
2*6.2 MHz - 3
2*8.0 MHz 0.5 3
2*10 MHz 1.0 4
2*12.5 MHz 1.2 5

*Source: Vardharajan Sridhar, The Telecom Revolution in India: Technology, Policy and Regulation, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 112

Post UASL Regime (2003-2005)

After the implementation of the Unified Access Service Licence, the basic telecom service operators were allowed to provide full mobility service for a payment of a entry fee which was equivalent to that paid by the fourth cellular operator. However, such operators migrating to UASL regime were not promised any start up spectrum but it would allocate as and when available.

Review of Spectrum Allocation Process by TRAI and setting up of new Subscriber Base Criterion (2006-2008)

TRAI reviewed the spectrum allocation process in 2005 with the intent to account for unused spectrum and optimum and efficient utilization of scarce resource such as spectrum.  The TRAI found that the maximum spectrum allocated to an operator is 2*10 MHz whereas the international average is around 2*20 MHz.

The main problem faced by allocation of spectrum was due to use of spectrum by defence forces and the railways.

  • Ministry of Defence and Railways uses sizeable portion of the 900 MHz frequency band for navigation and other purposes. It also uses the 1900 MHz band. The Defence Forces utilize 2*20 bandwidth at 1880-1900 MHz paired with 1970-1990 MHz for fixed wireless local loop technology.
  • The 1900 MHz could not be utilized because the Air Force uses the frequency band.

The TRAI also commented that in the 800 MHz band only a maximum of 2*5 MHz had been allocated to the CDMA operators whereas the world average standards stand at 2*15 MHz for CDMA operations.

The TRAI while observing that the allocation of the spectrum for both GSM and CDMA operators was way below international average spectrum allocation standards recommended that the existing service operators should be provided with more spectrum than before allowing new players to enter the market as there was already a fair amount of competition in the market.

The 2006, TRAI Recommendations on implementation 3G,  noted that the Ministry of Defence will vacate 2*20 MHz frequency band in the 1800 MHz band along with 25 MHz in the 2.1 GHz UMTS band. In its recommendation TRAI suggested that the additional spectrum vacated by the defence forces in the 1800 MHz band should be allocated to the operators providing 2G services and it specifically recommended that the Department of Telecom should not treat the allocation of 3G spectrum as a continuation of 2G spectrum allocation.

TRAI recommendations in 2007 suggested that there should not be any limitation on the number of players in the telecom sector. The grant of new licences resulted in a list of license holders who were to be assigned spectrum as and when available. TRAI in its 2007 recommendation noted that the spectrum allocation criteria should be formulated in such a manner so that maximum and efficient utilization of the spectrum can be achieved. This led to the tightening of the Subscriber Base Criterion previously laid down by the DoT (Table 1).

Quantum of Spectrum AllottedMinimum Subscriber Base Required (in millions)Annual Spectrum Charges (percentage of the adjusted gross revenue)
For GSM Services

2*4.4 MHz - 2
2*6.2 MHz 0.5 – 0.8 3
2*7.2 MHz 1.5 – 3.0
2*8.2 MHz 1.8 – 4.1 3
2*9.2 MHz 2.1 – 5.3
2*10.2 MHz 2.6 – 6.8 4
2*11.2 MHz 3.2 – 6.8
2*12.2 MHz 4.0 – 9.0 5
2*14.2 MHz 5.7 – 10.7 5
2*15 MHz 6.5 – 11.6 6
For CDMA Services

2*3.75 MHz 0.15 – 0.40 2
2*5.0 MHz 0.5 – 1.2 2

*Source: Vardharajan Sridhar, The Telecom Revolution in India: Technology, Policy and Regulation, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 115

Allocation of 3G Spectrum (2010-Current)

In 2008, the Department of Telecom announced its policy on 3G mobile services. Pursuant to the 2006 TRAI Recommendations on Allocation and pricing of spectrum for 3G and Broadband Wireless Access, the Department of Telecom decided on a simultaneous ascending auction for allocation of spectrum. According to the recommendation, the Department of Telecom would allot 2*5 MHz bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz band.

3.5.5.: Time taken to allocate

This section will look at the issues with respect to time taken by the Department of Telecom to allocate spectrum to the winning bidders. The Department of Telecom on various occasions has delayed the process of assigning specific frequency bands after allocation of spectrum. This has in turn resulted in delay in rolling out of services by the telecom operators.

There has been substantive delay in allocation of spectrum due to various other reasons, which has been listed in the Report on Examination of Appropriateness of Procedures followed by Department of Telecommunications in Issuance of Licences and Allocation of Spectrum during the Period 2001- 2009. However, according to the Report, the main reasons for the delay are:

  • Deviation from laid down procedures
  • Inappropriate application of laid down procedures
  • Violation of underlying principles of laid down procedures[9]

For instance:

  1. Ongoing litigation with respect to allocation of spectrum
    During the first instance of allocation of spectrum for the metro cellular licences; the process was marred by litigation which resulted in delay in allocation of spectrum. Subsequently, there was delay in rolling out of service and the operators suffered huge losses and most of the telecom companies were rendered bankrupt.
  2. Lack of availability/co-ordination with the defence for vacation of spectrum
    Initial as well as additional spectrum was allocated as per availability. Such delays were sometime more than a year, which amounted in not only loss of profit for the licence holder but also huge losses in revenue for the Department of Telecom.
  3. Delay in processing of application
    For example in allocation of additional spectrum for Idea Cellular Limited in the Maharashtra Service Area, there was a delay of four months given that co-ordination with the Defence was done by December 10, 2004. Spectrum was only allocated by April 1, 2005.

3.5.7. Interference issues

This section will deal with the issues regarding interference in the telecommunication sector.  Interference can be defined as noise or unwanted signals which are received by a reception device while receiving the wanted signals. Interference causes degradation of quality of service in the telecommunication.

There is no specific policy in India which deals with interference issues. Interference issues in the telecom sector in India, is generally addressed by Wireless Monitoring Organization which functions under the Wireless Planning Coordination Committee. Telecom operator licences also carries covenant which states:

"The licensee shall not cause or allow causing harmful interference to other authorized users of radio spectrum. For elimination of harmful interference to other user, licensee shall abide by all instructions and orders issued by the Government."[10]

Under the Use of low power Equipment in the frequency band 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz (Exemption from Licensing Requirement) Rules, 2005, interference is defined as, "The effect of unwanted energy due to one or a combination of emissions, radiations or induction upon reception in a radio communication system, manifested by any performance degradation, misinterpretation, or loss of information which could be extracted in the absence of such unwanted energy."[11]

A licensee can approach the Wireless Monitoring Organization (WMO) and lodge a complaint if such operator is facing problems due to interference with other radio signals. In such a circumstance the WMO, enquires in to the matter and finds the source of interference addresses the issues accordingly. The WMO also has wireless monitoring stations which look in to and investigates any issue related interference. The WMO has introduced mobile monitoring vans to effectively find out the source of signals causing interference. The wireless monitoring stations intercepts the interfering signal to determine the source of the signal.

3.5.8. & 3.5.9.:  Spectrum Refarming and Spectrum Reallocation

This section will look at the process of refarming of spectrum and also analyze the current (2012) debates on spectrum refarming in India.

Refarming of spectrum is defined as a process which is used to bring about any basic change in the use of different frequency band in the radio spectrum. This can be due to

  1. Change in technology
  2. Change in application and used of the frequency band
  3. Change in Government policy on allocation of spectrum.

Refarming of spectrum entails freeing up of spectrum which is in use and reallocation of such spectrum for some other purpose. It can happen due to change in technology which allows more efficient use of spectrum and hence results in vacation of spectrum. The two main instruments which effects spectrum refarming and reallocation are

  1. Market Driven
  2. Policy or Regulation Driven

Market Driven

A need for spectrum refarming may arise due to the changes in the market such a entry of new players in the market. A market driven refarming and reallocation will take in to consideration financial and business related factors. For example a new entrant in the telecom market will always welcome refarming of spectrum in the 800 MHz or 900 MHz because it will bring down the infrastructure costs incurred by the new player in the market.[12]

Policy or Regulation Driven

The policy driven change is an administrative changes. The main aspects which are taken into consideration by the policy maker or regulator are:

  • Market Structure: The regulator may implement refarming of spectrum to allow refarming and reallocation of spectrum for facilitating competition in the market. The regulator has to take into consideration the costs incurred by the telecom operators or users of the spectrum for relocating to a different frequency band.
  • Access: The regulator may allow refarming of spectrum in order to implement new technologies which allows for better access and efficient use of spectrum.
  • Revenue: The regulator may consider refarming and reallocation of spectrum in order to earn revenue and also allow equity in distribution of spectrum. Spectrum being a scarce resource has to be judiciously allocated by the regulator. Spectrum which was previously allocated for almost two decade ago holds more value in the market due to change in technology as well as the market structure. Therefore, in order to earn revenue the government may refarm and reallocate spectrum.

The main challenge with respect to refarming and reallocation of spectrum is that who will bear the cost for such changes in the spectrum usage and allocation and the transition to a different frequency band. Normally, such a change in spectrum usage is compensated by the:

  • Telecom companies who have to re-buy the spectrum at a higher price
  • New telecom companies
  • Government may set up a refarming fund for such reallocation from the spectrum revenue. For example, such a fund exists in France and it is managed by the Agence Nationale Des Fréquences. (National Frequency Agency).

Refarming and Reallocation in India

According to TRAI in its Recommendation Auction of Spectrum, 2012 discusses the concept of spectrum refarming and states:

"Refarming of spectrum involves re-planning and reassigning of spectrum over a period of time for services with higher value. A key motive for refarming of spectrum is to use the refarmed frequency bands for communications services that yield greater economic or social benefit than existing use as well as to enable the introduction of new or emerging technologies." (para 2.6)

Previously the TRAI in its Recommendation on Licensing Framework and Spectrum Management, 2010 had pointed out that 800 MHz and 900 MHz should be refarmed for use of new technology (UMTS 900), which would allow more efficient use of the spectrum.

In the 2012 Recommendation, TRAI has made detailed suggestions by taking into consideration international practices, different methodologies of refarming of spectrum and comments from the stakeholders.  The main recommendations are:

  • Spectrum in the 900 MHz band is a valuable asset both technologically and economically. Use of 900 MHz spectrum should be liberalized and restriction on the use of technology in the licence should be done away with.
  • It advises the government to take back 900 MHz from the licensees, who were granted licence in 1994-1995 and the two government operators. These licensees should be granted licence for liberalized spectrum at 1800 MHz frequency band at a price relevant in November, 2014
  • It also recommended that the 1800 MHz is not completely open for commercial exploitation and the government agencies should vacate the frequency band for successful refarming of 900 MHz.
  • The licence holder in the 800 MHz band should be reallocated to 1900 MHz band and it strongly recommends that the government should make immediate arrangements to refarm 800 MHz and reallocate licence holder to the 1900 MHz band.

Recently in October, 2012, The Telecom Commission under the Department of Telecom has also recommended refarming of all spectrum used by the telecom companies in the 900 MHz frequency bands during the next phase of renewal of licence. The Commission’s recommendation implies that the complete 900 MHz band has to be reallocated.

In the light of the above recommendation, the telecom companies will have the option of shifting from 900 MHz to 1800 MHz, for which auctions are happening in 2012m or it can bid for 900 MHz auctions schedule to happen in early 2013.These recommendations, if implemented may result in huge investments by the telecom companies and would affect the end users.  In 2012, the minimum reserve for auction of 1800 MHz spectrum is set at Rs. 14000 crores and the minimum reserve price for auction of 900 MHz would be twice the amount. The existing licence holder in the 900 MHz band, who migrate to the 1800 MHz band would have not only make huge investment to procure spectrum but also have to install 1.5 times more cell sites to ensure adequate coverage. This would result in further investment and in turn affect the tariff rates.

However, this has been welcomed by the new players in the market, who will have the opportunity to bid for 900 MHz spectrum band which economically and technologically more viable  and if liberalized it can also introduce new technologies such as UMTS 900 which would ensure better utilization of the spectrum.

Therefore, it is quite evident that the main challenge so far has been who is liable to compensate for refarming and reallocation. On one hand refarming will ensure deployment of new technology and efficient use of spectrum and also create level playing field for all the telecom companies on the other hand, reallocation or re-auction of spectrum would hit the incumbent telecom companies.


  • TRAI Recommendations and Consultations available at http://trai.gov.in
  • Ashok V. Desai, India’s telecommunications industry: history, analysis and diagnosis, Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd., 2006
  • Vikram Raghavan, Communications Law in India (Legal Aspects of Telecom, Broadcasting and Cable Services), Lexis Nexis Butterworths, 2007
  • Varadharajan Sridhar, The Telecom Revolution in India: Technology, Regulation and Policy, Oxford University Press, 2012

[1]. Andrea Prat, Tommaso Valletti, Spectrum Auctions versus Beauty Contests: Costs and Benefits, Prepared for the OECD - Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Services Policies, (First draft - November 2000) available at  http://istituti.unicatt.it/economia_impresa_lavoro_OECD-draft.pdf (last  visited on 7/06/2012).
[2]. Consultation Paper on Auction of Spectrum , Telecom Regulatory Authority of India,  (7th March, 2012) available at  http://www.trai.gov.in/WriteReaddata/ConsultationPaper/Document/consultation paper spectrum of auction.pdf (last  visited on 4/6/2012).
[3]. Id.
[4]. Rohit Prasad and V. Sridhar, A Critique of Spectrum Management in India, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 43, No. 38 (Sep. 20 - 26, 2008), pp. 13-17.
[5]. See, R.S. Jain, Spectrum auctions in India: lessons from experience, Telecommunications Policy 25 (2001) 671–688 available at http://rru.worldbank.org/Documents/PapersLinks/spectrum_auctions_india.pdf (last visited on 05/06/2012) "The bidders could apply for any number of service areas, subject to the fulfillment of the specified entry   conditions. The existing licensees could not bid for the same service area. Rollout obligations would be imposed on the winning bidders such as covering at least 10% of the district headquarters in the first year and 50 percent within 3 years of the effective date of the license. Having been criticized for the single round highest bid mechanism that caused inflated licence fee in earlier rounds, the government produced a bidding process which it called the informed ascending bidding process. The bidding process would have three rounds. The highest pre-qualified offer in the first financial bid would be treated as the reserve price for subsequent rounds of bidding. The lowest bidder in any round would not be allowed to participate in the next round, provided there were four or more bidders in any round. In case there were only two short listed bidders, both would qualify. The highest bidder in the third round would be declared successful for the grant of a licence."
[6]. Id.
[7]. Recommendations on Spectrum Management and Licensing Framework, TRAI, 11th May, 2010
[8]. Supra note iv at pp.14, "The fixed fee based licence (as opposed to auction based) theoretically allowed any number of mobile licences to be provided and implicitly de- linked spectrum allocation from licensing."
[9]. Justice Shivraj V. Patil (Former Judge, Supreme Court of India), Report on Examination of Appropriateness of Procedures followed by Department of Telecommunications in Issuance of Licences and Allocation of Spectrum during the Period 2001- 2009. (One man committee report), Published on January 31, 2011, pp. 100 available at http://www.dot.gov.in/miscellaneous/OMC/report.pdf
[10]. Clause 43.6, Licence Agreement for Provision of Unified Access Services after Migration from CMTS.
[11]. Rule 5, Use of low power Equipment in the frequency band 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz (Exemption from Licensing Requirement) Rules, 2005
[12].Lower frequencies bands such as  800 MHz or 900 MHz have a greater wavelength and covers larger areas as  opposed to higher frequency bands such 1800 MHz or 2.1 GHz. Therefore the telecom company with lower frequency spectrum has to set up less telecom infrastructure to provide adequate network coverage.

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