Why telcos are asking govt to auction direct-to-mobile services spectrum – Times of India

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Indian telecom operators have asked the government to auction the spectrum that will be used for direct-to-mobile (D2M) services. The mobile connection providers have submitted a petition to the government to ensure that the spectrum is distributed in a “technology neutral manner.” The latest petition comes after the government started exploring a proposal to deliver broadcasting or TV content directly to mobile phones without a data connection. For such D2M services, the government is also considering to reserve 526-582 MHz spectrum.
Why the spectrum for D2M services is important for telcos
Telecom operators consider this spectrum to be “precious” as they are already being identified by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for mobility services.
The petition that was submitted by industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on behalf of the telcos was seen by The Economic Times. All the three private operators in India – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – are the core members of COAI.
The petition reads: “This spectrum needs to be assigned through auctions in a technology neutral manner. The successful bidders should be able to deploy this spectrum either for broadcasting (D2M) or IMT (mobility services) or both as per the requirement and under the terms of their service licence.”
As per the telcos, auctioning this spectrum will allow them to utilise the airwaves flexibly within the networks for IMT and broadcasting services.

COAI’s petition added: “This will help in ensuring optimal utilisation of this precious spectrum for IMT and leveraging broadcasting capabilities to save bandwidth on the network. This will provide a seamless experience to customers who use smartphones for both video consumption and other data-based services.”
The operators have also highlighted that in April 2022, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended the 526-582 MHz band to be reserved for IMT.
The regulator also proposed that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) should work with the ministry of information and broadcasting to prepare a plan for an early migration from analogue to digital transmission. This will help in vacating the frequency band from 526-582 MHz for IMT services.


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