New Delhi: The telecom department is likely to consult the law ministry and the attorney general to safeguard the administrative route of allocation against any legal challenge for E&V spectrum bands.
Spectrum in the E band can transmit 1,000-megabit data per second. It is mostly used as backhaul means, connecting the core of a telecom network to nodes and then onto towers, to transmit data. The two bands are useful as in places where the companies cannot lay fibre network. This spectrum is not an access spectrum and is not used for direct mobile connectivity.
Backhaul spectrum allocation will help enhance mobile signal carrying capacity between two towers, reduce call drops and improve voice and data quality.
There is no controversy over allocation methods. The E&V bands will be allocated under the administrative allocation route because that’s the only option.
“We will take enough legal precautions, which could include routine legal pre-emptive moves like getting the law ministry’s approval and consulting the attorney general,” sources said.
A telecom commission agenda for May 1, drawn up earlier in April, has listed several recommendations including net neutrality, M2M communications, administrative allocation of spectrum, ombudsman, proliferation of broadband through public Wifi network, in-flight connectivity, cloud services, regulatory framework for internet telephony, ease of doing business and MWA-MWB, E&V bands.
Sources said the telecom commission may not discuss the E&V band allocation on May 1 as the government would like to form a view among the other key ministries and top legal officers on the same. But as and when it is discussed and approved, it will have to through administrative route.
Experts, DoT and Trai officials say backhaul spectrum is different from access spectrum, which is allotted to the operators in patches not in blocks. Therefore by the very technical nature, it cannot be offered under the auction route. The backhaul spectrum is used for augmenting signals between mobile towers.
Trai in 2014 had recommended that E band should be charged at Rs 10,000 per annum per link of 250Mhz and prescribed Rs 1,000 per annum per link of 50Mhz each for V band carriers. The government is also set to release the draft new telecom policy on Tuesday after the approval of telecom commission.