Panel favours pricing of spectrum

Panel favours pricing of spectrum

New Delhi: An official panel set up to review frequency allocation norms has favoured pricing each megahertz of the airwaves, and has put the onus of deciding whether to ask mobile operators to return excess spectrum on the government.

“Legal and other policy issues have to be considered by experts," said the committee, headed by additional secretary in the department of telecommunications R. Bandhopadhyay, in a note. “But every megahertz of spectrum has to cost somehow."

Currently, mobile operators are allocated 4.4MHz of spectrum because it comes bundled with the pan-India licence, for which companies need to pay Rs1,651 crore.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had also earlier suggested that spectrum fee should be separated from the licence fee.