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The Department of Telecom has invited applications from firms willing to set up private networks to undertake demand studies for the direct assignment of spectrum to entities.

As per the DoT, enterprises having a net worth of more than 100 crore and are willing to set up captive non-public networks are invited to participate in this exercise.

On June 27 this year, the Centre issued the 'guidelines for Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN) licence.

As per the guidelines, an enterprise who wishes to establish a Captive private network may obtain spectrum on lease from telecom service providers or directly from the DoT.

These guidelines also provide that the DoT will undertake demand studies for direct assignments of the spectrum to enterprises setting up CNPNs. The Telecom department has launched a module on the Saralsanchar portal for carrying out the demand studies.

The application window is open from August 10 to September 9.

The DoT has come up with the provision of direct spectrum allocation to enterprises for CNPN despite opposition by incumbent telecom operators.

The department also has to seek Trai's view on the price at which the spectrum should be allocated to the enterprises.

Separately, the Broadband India Forum (BIF) had flagged concerns over the “unnecessarily high" 100 crore minimum net worth criteria of newly-framed guidelines for captive private networks and said it was “puzzled" at the precondition for direct assignment of spectrum to enterprises that required the DoT to conduct demand studies, according to the telecom regulator’s recommendations.

“While one can envisage the possibility of demand estimates/studies in the case of public or external networks, the same appear to be rather inconceivable in the case of captive/non-public/ private networks since these would vary from entity to entity in the same category and, further, from category to category and, of course, from industry vertical to industry vertical," the forum had said in the letter.

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