Mobile industry welcomes India’s national frequency allocation plan 2011

The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), the
apex body of wireless operators, has welcomed the national frequency allocation
plan 2011.

The efforts of the telecom ministry are lauded for
considering the requirement for IMT and broadband wireless in the 698-806 MHz
frequency band, bringing it in line with International standards and the
harmonization of the 700 MHz band which is recognized world over as the most economical
and affordable band of spectrum, and which is particularly suited for Indian
rural wireless broadband needs. 

The identification of additional bands for wireless will
enable the rollout of broadband services in line with the national broadband
plan and will streamline the efforts for better spectrum management which the
COAI has long been advocating.

The minister’s view on spectrum being a scarce resource and that it should be used rationally,
optimally, efficiently and economically”, are fully endorsed by the COAI and
the industry.  COAI wants the ministry to fix dates for an early auction
of the earmarked spectrum.

In the NFAP Policy, the ministry has reserved
spectrum in 900 MHz, 1400MHz and 1800 MHz bands for promoting  indigenous
manufacturing in the country  so as to minimize the countries reliance on
the import of telecom equipment.

While, COAI appreciates the promotion of Indigenous
manufacturing in the country, which is touted as the second largest telecom
market in the world, it
also perceives that such a policy decision
may be susceptible to the danger of a possible backdoor entry into licenced
cellular mobile services, which may lead to problems as were faced by the industry
when WLL was introduced.

COAI also recommends that in line with the
recommendations of the Ashok Chawla Committee on allocation of natural
resources, pricing and allocation of any spectrum should be transparent, fair
and market based.

By Team
[email protected]