TRAI pushes for state infra funding and clarifies spectrum sharing rates

TRAI pushes for state infra funding and clarifies spectrum sharing rates

India’s regulator has called for state governments in the nation to consider telecoms infrastructure as an essential service that operators should not be obliged to fund entirely.

As reported in The Economic Times, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) Chairman RS Sharma entreated: “The telecom infra must become as essential as water pipes, electricity or the television infrastructure… However, when it comes to telecom, you start charging money from telecom service providers, which is…perverse.”

“State governments should be brought on board to understand that telecommunications is such an important and essential infrastructure”, he added. Sharma was speaking at a conference organised by the Broadband India Forum, and discussing updating construction bylaws to better accommodate telecoms infrastructure.

TRAI also recently confirmed its final recommendations for determining fair spectrum usage charges in instances where two operators are sharing frequencies, noting that additional usage fees would only be charged on shared airwaves rather applying to both operators’ full spectrum holdings.

Spectrum licensees will be obliged to pay a usage fee on the shared spectrum band amounting to 0.5% of their AGR (adjusted gross revenue), in line with current rate calculations. Additionally, TRAI recommended that partners in spectrum sharing deals should be able to terminate agreements unilaterally in order to manage their spectrum based on requirements.

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