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TRAI New Guidelines: TRAI’s new recommendation for spectrum surrender, Vodafone Idea will get huge relief if implemented

Spectrum surrender guidelines: TRAI has sent its new guidelines to the government for approval, due to their implementation, it is expected to make business easier for telecom companies.

Spectrum Surrender GuidelinesTo promote Ease of Doing Business, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended easy and transparent spectrum surrender guidelines. According to TRAI, under this, the telecom operator will have to pay a fee of Rs 1 lakh while surrendering the frequency. According to the new guidelines, telecom companies will be allowed to surrender spectrum after 10 years of receiving it. TRAI has sent its new guidelines to the government for approval, due to their implementation, it is expected to make business easier for telecom companies.

What is in this new recommendation of TRAI

If this is accepted by the Department of Telecom, then all the operators will benefit from this move. However, this could be the biggest beneficiary of Vodafone Idea as it will allow the company to surrender additional spectrum in multiple circles. This will help the company to cut costs. Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are also likely to benefit from TRAI’s latest recommendation. At present, the only way for telcos to monetise the excess spectrum is to sell spectrum through the prescribed spectrum trading process. As per the Spectrum Trading Guidelines, Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) are permitted to trade their partial/entire spectrum holdings to another TSP after a lock-in period of two years after the assignment of such spectrum.

Regarding surrender fee, TRAI has said that the fee should not be kept high. Trai said, “It should be an administrative fee for the purpose of processing the surrender application. The surrender fee can be capped at Rs 1 lakh per spectrum band per LSA (license area).” TRAI has said that the DoT should issue guidelines with a clear timeline and the process should be implemented through an online portal. Under the recommendations, within 60 days from the date of application, the DoT will have to give in-principle approval. Then, the telecom company will have to pay all the dues related to spectrum as stated by the DoT.

The government will put the surrendered spectrum for auction. To avoid any misuse, TRAI has recommended that the operator who has surrendered spectrum will not be allowed to participate in the auction of the same airwaves for at least two years. TRAI said that the telecom operator will have to pay a fee of Rs 1 lakh while surrendering the frequency. TRAI has recommended that a TSP should be allowed to surrender spectrum after a minimum period of 10 years from the date of acquisition of spectrum.

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