TRAI recommendations on spectrum for PMRTS including auction

India telecom regulator TRAI announced recommendations for the allocation of spectrum for Public Mobile Radio Trunking Service (PMRTS) including auction.
TRAI Chairman RS Sharma
India has 56,660 PMRTS subscribers as of March 2018 registering a growth of 2.4 percent over the previous year. Presently, 8 service providers are providing PMRTS services in 34 cities in 11 Licensed Service Areas (LSAs).

TRAI said the existing LSA based authorization criteria and 20 year duration for PMRTS license should continue.

The TRAI recommendation said the assignment of spectrum for PMRTS should be made administratively on the basis of demand taking into consideration factors viz. PMRTS market conditions; low spectrum demand and high spectrum availability.

Carrier size for assignment to PMRTS licensee should be 6.25 KHz and multiples thereof.

PMRTS operators should be allowed to retain carriers of 25 KHz already assigned to them, TRAI said.

Additional assignment of carriers for the existing analogue system shall continue at carrier size of 25 KHz — counted as 4 carriers of 6.25 KHz each.

India Government should assign 12 carriers of carrier size 6.25 KHz in metro licensed service area and 8 carriers in non-metro license service area to PMRTS operators depending on the availability, TRAI said.

The cap on the number of PMRTS handsets per channel that can be imported should be removed to promote efficient use of spectrum. PMRTS provider shall provide a justification for demand / requirement of spares etc. of PMRTS handsets required to be imported.

TRAI suggested royalty charges of Rs 1200 per year per 6.25 KHz channel for link distance up to 30 Km and Rs 2400 per year per 6.25 KHz channel for link distance up to 60 Km under option 1.

TRAI suggested royalty charges of Rs 20,000 for 6.25 KHz Spectrum for link distance up to 30 Km in the city within the same LSA for 20 years under option 2 of upfront payment. The royalty charge will be Rs 40,000 for 6.25 KHz spectrum for link distance up to 60 Km in the city within the same LSA for 20 years under option 2.

TRAI said SUC for the spectrum allocated to PMRTS should be levied at 1 percent of AGR. The revenue from sale of handsets shall be allowed as deduction from the GR of PMRTS for the purpose of levy of license fee. TRAI is not making any recommendation on license fee of PMRT Service.

Existing PMRTS assignments in the band 814-819/859-864 MHz should be refarmed in two years and accommodated in the 811-814/856- 859 MHz band to make the spectrum available for BB-PPDR networks.

The agencies handling PPDR networks that have been operating in the band 806-824 MHz paired with 851-869 MHz should be confined to and accommodated in the proposed PPDR network for which the assignment of spectrum is proposed in 814-824/859-869 MHz subband.

Allocations of the frequencies in the sub-band 338-340/348-350 MHz shall be predominantly considered for PMRTS. Provisions for allocation in sub-band 351-358/361-368 MHz and 380-389.9/390- 399.9 MHz shall remain unchanged, TRAI said.