Indian government to come up with new spectrum law – reports

Media reports suggest that the law will give flexibility to the policymakers to decide whether or not to auction the spectrum on a case-by-case basis.

Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor

April 12, 2022

2 Min Read
Indian government to come up with new spectrum law – reports

India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT), along with the Department of Space and Ministries of Home Affairs and Defense, is developing a new law to address the issues related to spectrum allotment, auction and reservation, according to media reports.Tentatively titled the Wireless and Spectrum Act, it will replace the existing Indian Wireless Act, 1933. The new legislation is likely to be introduced in the upcoming Monsoon parliamentary session later in 2022.Figure 1:Call waiting: India is finally preparing to hold the 5G spectrum auction next month.

(Source: Nicolas DEBRAY from Pixabay)For several years, the industry has been demanding more clarity and a roadmap for spectrum allocation and auction. Spectrum allocation is an extremely controversial topic in India. The country faces several conflicts between different government departments, like defense and space, which have in the past delayed spectrum auctions.Media reports suggest that the law will give flexibility to policymakers to decide whether or not to auction spectrum on a case-by-case basis. As of now, all spectrum is auctioned in India.Conflicts emergeThis comes at a time when India is preparing to hold the 5G spectrum auction in May. Several conflicts have emerged related to this. The biggest issue is the high reserve price. Secondly, there is a difference of opinion on whether or not the E and V band should be auctioned.Lastly, there is little clarity on how spectrum for 5G private networks will be allocated.Want to know more? Sign up to get our dedicated newsletters direct to

your inboxWhile telcos want to ensure that all spectrum should be auctioned to maintain a level-playing field, enterprises want to acquire spectrum at administrative rates. Under existing laws, this isn't possible.The industry has raised the issue of excessive litigation in the sector and this new legislation, if done right, may address some of the problems.Related posts:India likely to hold 5G auctions in MayBSNL to launch 4G with 5G NSA network by AugustIndia 5G testing mandate could lead to device shortageIndian telcos want more control in procuring gear— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Gagandeep Kaur

Contributing Editor

With more than a decade of experience, Gagandeep Kaur Sodhi has worked for the most prominent Indian communications industry publications including Dataquest, Business Standard, The Times of India, and Voice&Data, as well as for Light Reading. Delhi-based Kaur, who has knowledge of and covers a broad range of telecom industry developments, regularly interacts with the senior management of companies in India's telecom sector and has been directly responsible for delegate and speaker acquisition for prominent events such as Mobile Broadband Summit, 4G World India, and Next Generation Packet Transport Network.

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