Indian Broadband Policy and Regulatory Resources

Spectrum Management

This section covers the issues related to timely, transparent and non-discriminatory access to spectrum allocation, frequency allocation, spectrum management for broadband use, economic objective of spectrum allocation, spectrum sharing, unlicensed spectrum and other international issues related to spectrum management.

The goal of regulatory authorities engaged in spectrum management is to ensure that the public resource is used efficiently. However, the issue has technical, economic and social aspects that govern the regulatory initiatives. The regulatory initiatives include, relocating the underused spectrum, spectrum re-firming, letting the operators reuse the previously held spectrum etc. Challenges arise, when the broadcast authorities and potential cellular operators confront to get hold of certain lucrative band of spectrum. In such cases, the regulatory decisions should reflect the socio-economic strata of the country and not only the technological needs.

According to the Indian NTP 2012:

Spectrum management policy aims at creating a framework for increasing the availability of spectrum for the purpose of telecom services. It also seeks to implement a transparent process for allocation of spectrum as well as ensure availability of spectrum. The Policy wishes to make available additional 300 MHz for IMT (4G) services by 2013 and another 200 MHz by 2020.

The government will also promote efficient use of spectrum and will conduct periodical spectrum usage audit. It will also de-licence un-used and additional frequency bands for public use. It will also conduct periodic audit of spectrum use, to ensure optimum use of spectrum. 

This link gives a detailed introduction to spectrum management in India. Sub topics include:  Auctioning and allocating process for all kinds of spectrum, The initial process of auctioning, How are the bidders selected, Criterion for allocation, Time taken to allocate, Selection of band, Interference issues, Spectrum Refarming, and Spectrum Reallocation.

India: Case Study on the Supreme Court Ruling on the 2G Spectrum Scam gives an overview of what really happened in the 2G Spectrum scam in India. In 2008, the Central Government of India granted 122 telecom licenses to various companies in response to 575 applications for license. In 2011, Controller and Auditor General of India estimated that loss to the government is in the range of Rs 0.53523 to 1.4 billion rupees. What was the Supreme Court ruling?

This study describes the 3G Spectrum Auctions in India: Have We Learnt the Right Lessons? 


Introduction to Spectrum Management – This link gives an introduction to the management of the radio spectrum including the planning of current and future uses of spectrum; ensuring engineering compatibility of various uses and equipment; and authorization, licensing and monitoring of spectrum usage.

Spectrum Management to foster Broadband – On the supply side, new technologies are rapidly increasing the efficiency of frequency usage, and on the demand side, service innovations and changes in user preferences also happen quite quickly, especially over broadband wireless networks. Given this reality, regulation needs to mimic market incentives as far as possible; it needs to be transparent so that investors and users can plan ahead; and, it needs to become more flexible to take account of changing conditions and requirements. This link explores these issues.

Spectrum Policy and Planning – In link gives a discussion on the related topics of Spectrum Policy and Planning followed by Technical Standards and Allocating Spectrum.

Spectrum Pricing – This link discusses various approaches used by spectrum managers to raise revenue and distribute the spectrum resource via spectrum pricing techniques and methods. 



ITU Approves Spectrum Allocation for Satellite-based Flight Tracking – International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has reached an agreement at the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) in Geneva to allocate radiofrequency spectrum for global flight tracking in civil aviation.

Huawei Calls For Faster Spectrum Allocation – Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, has called for faster spectrum allocation as the industry chain needed to implement it had been ready about a year ago.

Nigeria: ITU Calls for Regulation of Online Media – The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization, Engr. Shola Taylor, says Nigeria can use proceeds from available spectrum auction to achieve a seamless transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in 2017.

Telcos link slow broadband penetration to spectrum scarcity – Nigeria may fail to meet it’s lofty national broadband targets owing to scarcity of frequency spectrum, that is already hindering telecommunications companies from deploying efficient and reasonably priced Internet services across the country, industry observers have said.

BTRC steps up process for launching 4G – The telecom regulator has accelerated the process of releasing 700MHz spectrum in the country, as the government is planning to introduce the latest 4G (fourth generation) mobile technology by 2016, sources said. As part of the initiatives, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has started recovering the unused or semi-used airwave frequency from the operators.

ITU survey on Spectrum Management – the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has conducted a survey which aims to gather information on the most important issues related to spectrum management policies around the world, including details of the initiatives undertaken by authorities responsible for the allocation of radio frequencies in each country. This document represents a snapshot synthesis of responses received from ITU Member States.

Spectrum Management: New Realities – This link discusses new trends in spectrum management

Spectrum Policy for Broadband Diffusion –  This paper is in three parts. The first outlines the range of spectrum management tools available. The second summarizes possible ways in which spectrum management tools can be deployed in pursuit of meeting mobile broadband targets. The third outlines how spectrum currently used by the public sector might be redeployed to meet the growing need for spectrum for mobile data.


Country Studies

Australia – Case Study on Australian Spectrum Management conducted by ITU 

Guatemala – Case Study on Guatemala Spectrum Management conducted by ITU 

United Kingdom – Case Study on United Kingdom Spectrum Management conducted by ITU