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DoT to approach TRAI for satcom spectrum allocation

The telecom department will shortly approach sector regulator TRAI to seek its views on terms and modalities of spectrum allocation for satcom services on a ‘fair to all’ basis, ensuring a ‘level playing field’, according to a government source.

The terms of reference are currently being worked out by the Department of Telecom, which will include aspects like what should be the frequencies, pricing, and licence terms and conditions from a security standpoint, the source added.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India floated a consultation paper on ‘Assignment of Spectrum for Space-based Communication Services’ on April 6, 2023, but returned the reference to the DoT after the announcement of the new Telecommunication Act.

“We have categorically said Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will do, in a clear, open and in transparent manner, a proper open house discussion and consultation and come to a pricing or mechanism, which will be transparent and be fair to all,” the source said.

Allocation of such spectrum will happen once TRAI gives its views on pricing.

“The new consultation has to start. We have almost framed our reference to TRAI that should go out in a few weeks,” the source said.

Satcom or satellite communication technology enables service providers to ensure internet connectivity in remote areas or difficult terrain. Players like Bharti Group-backed OneWeb, Reliance Group Jio Satcom, and Elon Musk’s Starlink are keen on offering these services in India. PTI

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