Government Seeks Supreme Court Approval For Spectrum Allocation Change, Says Report

Auction processes will continue to be employed for allocating spectrum for mobile services

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has urged the Supreme Court to amend the 2012 order, seeking permission for administrative allocation in certain cases where conducting auctions is not technically feasible.

As per a recent report by Moneycontrol, the spectrum for mobile services will continue to be distributed through auctions, with the administrative allocation of airwaves reserved for limited purposes such as communication for space and satellite applications.

The government officials clarified that the application filed adheres to the due process preceding the introduction of the Telecom Bill in the Parliament. They highlighted that the application does not require any alteration in the Supreme Court's judgment.

“Spectrum for mobile services will continue to be given through auction process. In fact, currently one auction for 4G and 5G spectrum is currently ongoing,” sources cited in the report stated.

Under the Telecom Act of 2023, administrative allocation will be restricted to certain cases, such as providing spectrum for walkie-talkies for police, radar for weather forecasting, radar and communication for ships, communication for space and satellite applications, as well as communication and radar for the Armed Forces and PSU like BSNL.

Only a tiny fraction, around 5 to 7 per cent, of the cases are covered by these allocations.

“The matter in Supreme Court is an application for clarification on these points considering the multiple litigations. It was filed in the Supreme Court following the due process before introducing the Telecom Bill in the parliament,” the sources added.

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