Telecom regulator Trai has invited public views on the process and other norms that should be followed to allocate spectrum for satellite communication services, an official statement said on Thursday.
The consultation paper "Assignment of spectrum for Space-based Communication Services" follows reference made to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India by the Department of Telecom (DoT) seeking the regulator's recommendation on the contentious issue of spectrum allocation to satellite companies through auction.
"In the present consultation paper, Trai has considered all the spectrum bands relevant for space-based communication services as indicated by DoT... In this consultation paper, specific issues have been raised for consideration of stakeholders.
"Written comments on the issues raised in the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by May 4, 2023 and counter comments by May 18, 2023," Trai said.
Satellite companies have unanimously opposed allocation of spectrum to them through auction, while telecom operators said spectrum for commercial use should be allocated through auction only.
Trai has sought views on five spectrum bands in the frequency range 1 GHz (gigahertz) to 2 GHz (L-band), 2 GHz to 4 GHz (S band), 4 GHz to 8 GHz (C band), 10 GHz to 15 GHz (Ku Band) and 17 GHz to 31 GHz (Ka band) -- which are used for different applications related to telecom, broadcast, aviation, weather etc.
The DoT in its references has "envisaged to auction the Space Spectrum on exclusive basis" and asked the regulator to explore feasibility and procedure of sharing auctioned spectrum among multiple service licensees.
Trai has asked views if spectrum should be allocated through auction, administrative process (assignment based on fixed fees) or any other methodology should be used.
The regulator has sought views on the validity period of spectrum allocation if it is done through auction and periodicity of the auction for any unsold or available spectrum.
Among a host of issues related to spectrum allocation for satellite communication service, Trai has sought views on the quantum of spectrum required by companies for providing services.