TRAI recommends sharing of all telecom spectrum

The move, if approved by the government would benefit incumbent players like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, RCom, Aircel and Tata Teleservices to bring down cost of spectrum ownership as well as services


Telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday recommended allowing the sharing of all categories of airwaves held by operators including spectrum allocated at the old price of Rs1,658 crore or assigned without auction. This move could help companies significantly reduce the cost of mobile services.


"All access spectrum i.e., Vodafone, Idea. spectrum in the bands of 800/900/1800/2100/ 2300/2500 MHz will be shareable provided that both the licensees are having spectrum in the same band," the regulator said in its recommendation on Guidelines on Spectrum Sharing.


At present, telecom operators have been allocated airwaves frequency in 800 megahertz (CDMA), 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz (3G), 2300 Mhz and 2500 Mhz (4G) for wireless telecom services.


The Economic Survey had earlier this month recommended the government to come out with better spectrum management through measures like trading and sharing of spectrum so as to bring down the cost of spectrum.


The price of spectrum in last auction was about five times more compared to price of spectrum allocated under old licensing regime. The new regime was notified in August 2013 by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).


"If any one or both of the licensees, sharing their spectrum, have administratively assigned spectrum (allocated without auction) in that band, then, after sharing, they will be permitted to provide only those services which can be provided through the administratively held spectrum," TRAI had recommended.


At present, telecom operators are allowed to share passive infrastructure like mobile towers which has helped them reducing operational cost but not active infrastructure like spectrum.


The government in February 2012 in-principle approved sharing of only those spectrum under new licensing regime which have been purchased through spectrum auction to increase interest of bidders and enhance revenue generation in the auction.


It has in-principle approved sharing of spectrum allocated without auction on condition that companies holding such airwaves will have to pay one-time spectrum charge which cumulatively amounted to about Rs30,000 crore for both GSM and CDMA spectrum as estimated by Department of Telecom (DoT) last year.


Telecom companies have challenged in various courts the government's decision to impose one-time spectrum charge and the matter is sub judice.


The move to allow sharing of all kind of airwaves if approved by the government, will benefit incumbent players like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Aircel and Tata Teleservices to bring down cost of spectrum ownership.


Modi government seeks views of parties on Judicial Commission

The union government is seeking views of various political parties and eminent jurists on the proposal to set up of a Judicial Appointments Commission


Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is seeking views of various political parties and eminent jurists to set up a Judicial Appointments Commission. The Commission seeks to scrap the present system of judges appointing judges, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.


Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said a Constitutional Amendment Bill to set up the proposed commission has lapsed following the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha and an accompanying bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha.


“The government is seeking the views of various political parties and eminent jurists on the proposal for setting up of a Judicial Appointments Commission,” he said in a written reply.


An earlier effort by the NDA government to replace the collegium system in 2003 did not succeed.


The then NDA government had introduced a Constitution amendment bill but the Lok Sabha was dissolved when the bill was before a Standing Committee. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was the Law Minister then.


Parliamentary nod to the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill had eluded the UPA government despite it agreeing to the demands by jurists and BJP to grant constitutional status to a proposed commission for appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary to ensure that its composition cannot be altered through an ordinary legislation.


According to the UPA Bill, while the new Article 124 A of the Constitution will define the composition of JAC, Article 124 B will define its functions.



HDFC Q1 net profit up 15% to Rs1,345 crore on loan book growth

Aided by strong demand for home loans from individuals, HDFC reported 15% growth in its June quarter net profit


Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), the country's largest home finance company reported a 15% growth in its first quarter net profit on robust loan book.


For the quarter to end-June, the home loan company said its consolidated net profit rose to Rs1,345 crore from Rs1,173 crore while total revenues, including interest income, grew 16% to Rs6,447 crore over same period last year.


HDFC said its loan book during the first quarter grew to Rs2.03 lakh crore as on from Rs1.77 lakh crore, a year ago. About 86% of incremental growth in the loan book during the quarter came from individual loans, the lender said.


As of 30 June 2014, HDFC's gross non-performing loans amounted to Rs1,434 crore, which is equivalent to 0.7% of its loan portfolio compared with 0.77%, same period last year.


HDFC ended Monday 2.6% up at Rs1,006 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex closed marginally higher at 25,683.


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