Doing some plain speaking on call drops, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today asked mobile operators to walk the extra mile to reinforce their systems as they have enough spectrum to provide telephony services without interruption.
The minister said he has asked sectoral regulator TRAI to suggest a disincentive mechanism to tackle the problem, though he refused to share if it will be a financial disincentive.
Amidst user complaints of call drops in urban and most rural areas, telcos have predominantly blamed this on the inability to share airwaves with other operators. To curb this, the Telecom Commission was appointed and it seems like they have finalized views on the matter and will soon send them to the cabinet for approval. The information was provided by the telecom secretary Rakesh Garg.
By allowing trading of airwaves, carriers that do not use a particular spectrum can offer them to another operator that requires it. This way, everybody stands to benefit, so it’s unlikely that this proposal will see an opposition from the authorities.
Speaking on the matter, a spokesperson for Uninor said to The Economic Times – “This is a positive step towards efficient utilization of spectrum. We hope that the Union Cabinet will come out with a relaxed norms soon, which is very important in a spectrum-starved nation like India.”
It is said that carriers will be able to share 2G, 3G or even 4G airwaves that were acquired through trading. It is suggested that companies be allowed to share spectrum only 2 years after its acquisition. Government assigned spectrum can be traded only after it has been converted by paying the market value.
There are several implications of spectrum trading and sharing that fail to make sense and the authorities are taking a step in the right direction to ensure that it is changed.