New Delhi: The telecom commission (TC) has decided to send back the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai’s) latest recommendations on valuation of spectrum to be auctioned in February, as many of the suggestions cannot be implemented, a senior department of telecommunications (DoT) official said.

TC is the highest telecom policy decision-making body in the country with representatives from all relevant ministries.

The primary recommendation that has been sent back for clarification relates to the sale of 800MHz spectrum.

In its recommendations, submitted to DoT on 15 October, the telecom regulator had reiterated its stand that 800MHz spectrum be reoptimized for use as extended GSM and not as CDMA spectrum, as it is used currently.

TC has asked Trai to clarify its recommendations on reserve price and quantum of spectrum of 800MHz to be auctioned, as the regulator has done for 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrum bands.

Other recommendations include the reserve price for 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrum, to be auctioned as well as a direction to get all 3G spectrum, in the 2,100MHz band, vacated by defence forces and auctioned for commercial services in February.

“Discussion is on with defence. TC has decided to focus on spectrum for auction that is coming up for renewal," the official cited above told PTI.

TC has said that DoT is working on getting the necessary airwaves vacated but it is unlikely that it will happen in time to be sold in the coming auction.

Further, an internal committee of DoT that studied Trai’s recommendations, rejected the suggestion that spectrum be taken back from the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, on grounds that the licensor does not have the jurisdiction to take back spectrum until it expires.

The inter-ministerial panel has also sent back Trai’s recommendation given in February for 800MHz (CDMA) spectrum band for reconsidering some points. The regulator had suggested a CDMA spectrum reserve price of 2,685 crore per MHz for auction, which is around 50% higher than the previous pan-India base price.

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