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TRAI releases consultation paper on spectrum for space-based communication services

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), today, released a consultation paper on “Assignment of Spectrum for Space-based Communication Services”.

Earlier, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), through its letter dated September 13, 2021, had requested TRAI to provide recommendations on “Auction of spectrum in the frequencies identified for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) I 5G”.

Through the said letter, TRAI was also requested to provide recommendations, on appropriate frequency bands, band plan, block size, applicable reserve price, the quantum of spectrum to be auctioned, and associated conditions for the auction of spectrum for space-based communication services, the regulator said in a statement.

In this regard, TRAI, through letters, sought information/ clarifications in respect of space-based communication services from DoT.
“TRAI, through consultations, may assess the demand for space-based communication services and accordingly provide recommendations on the quantum of spectrum in each band required to be put to auction,” it said.

It is envisaged to auction the Space Spectrum on exclusive basis. TRAI may explore feasibility and procedure of sharing auctioned spectrum among multiple service licensees, it said.

“TRAI may provide recommendations on sharing of auctioned frequency bands between satellite networks and terrestrial networks also, the criteria for sharing and appropriate interference mitigation techniques for sharing and coexistence,” it said in the consultation paper.

It also said that in frequency bands 27.5-28.5 GHz (identified for IMT) and 28.5-29.5 GHz (being studied for Captive Non-Public Networks), TRAI may recommend mechanism for sharing of auctioned frequency bands in which both IMT/ CNPN and satellite-based services (both user terminal and Gateways) can be provided in a flexible manner.

“Since the service providers may require spectrum both in user link as well as in feeder link, TRAI may take inputs from the stakeholders and recommend the appropriate auction methodology so that the successful bidder gets spectrum for user link (shared with IMT in flexible) as well as feeder link,” it said.

In the present consultation paper, TRAI has considered all the spectrum bands relevant for space-based communication services as indicated by DoT, it added

The regulator has sought comments from the stakeholders by May 4, and counter-comments by May 18, 2023.

Read the consultation paper here –   The Hindu BusinessLine

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