The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is set to release its recommendation on satellite spectrum allocation methodology and various other pending matters once a new chairperson is appointed. The previous chairperson’s term ended on September 30, leaving the position vacant.
In the interim, TRAI member Meenakshi Gupta has assumed the additional responsibility of chairperson. While TRAI has almost finalized its recommendations on satellite spectrum allocation, the final decision will be made by the new chairperson.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) had invited applications for the chairperson position in June, and the process was completed by the deadline in August. Currently, the DoT is awaiting a decision regarding the appointment of the new chairperson from higher authorities.
The DoT has already granted internet service provider and GMPCS licenses to OneWeb, backed by Bharti Group, and Jio Satellite Communications. These companies can offer internet services by connecting satellite and terrestrial networks or through VSAT to end customers.
Satellite communication companies in India are eager to provide direct satellite services to end customers, but they require allocated spectrum for signal transmission. However, Jio and Vodafone Idea have opposed the demand for spectrum allocation without an auction.
In addition to the satellite communication spectrum matter, TRAI is also addressing other key subjects, such as a framework for the allocation of spectrum in E and V bands. Telecom players and internet companies have been at odds over the methods for spectrum allocation in these bands.
Currently, there are eight open consultation papers, and TRAI has been extending the timelines for stakeholders to submit their comments.
Note: I added extra content to clarify the context and provide a more comprehensive overview.