TRAI to begin consultation on auction of satellite communication spectrum
Even though Reliance Jio has entered into a partnership with Luxemborg based SES company for MEO satellite operations, it still holds the same stand about auctioning the Ku and Ka band spectrum even though SES prefers administrative allocation.
The dust is still settling on the heated debate of whether E and V band spectrum used for backhaul should be auctioned to the telcos or be assigned administratively, with the former method being agreed upon by all stakeholders. Now a similar debate is brewing up for the allocation of Ku and Ka Band spectrum which is traditionally used for satellite communication, with the SatCom operators prefering an administrative allocation while telcos have suggested the airwaves be auctioned like access spectrum.
DoT has informed TRAI about the availability of spectrum in the Ku and Ka Bands, which are being used for Satcom. Traditionally DoT has been allocating the Ku-Band administratively to the satellite operators, but now telecom operators like Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea have been urging DoT to switch to auctioning this spectrum as well. The Supreme court had in 2012 mandated all access spectrum to be allocated only through auctioning.
Even among the telecom operators there is a difference in opinion regarding the allocation methodology of this spectrum, with Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea prefering the auction method whereas Bharti Enterprise which also has vested interests in OneWeb (LEO Satellite broadband company) prefers an administrative allocation of the same.
Even though Reliance Jio has entered into a partnership with Luxemborg based SES company for MEO satellite operations, it still holds the same stand about auctioning the Ku and Ka band spectrum even though SES prefers administrative allocation. Other LEO satellite broadband stakeholders like Elon Musk’s Starlink and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon are also interested in the Indian Satcom market and are backing administrative allocation of spectrum.
TRAI after conducting the consultation process with all stakeholder will come up with the final decision about the allocation of Ku and Ka Band spectrum.
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