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Govt to begin private consultations with Big Tech, telcos, ministries on radio spectrum policy

The Department of Telecommunications is beginning a series of closed-door meetings with private and public sector stakeholders on radio frequency spectrum allocation over the next ten years, the Economic Times reported. The meetings are scheduled to start on Wednesday and extend till the following Tuesday, according to a meeting notice obtained by MediaNama that an official at the DoT verified. OneWeb, Facebook, Google, Apple, Intel, and Nokia are among the companies that will be attending. Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE are conspicuously absent.

The meeting notice, sent directly to stakeholders, includes these as the central questions for discussion:

i) What changes are required in current spectrum allocations?
ii) What frequency bands should be considered for [International Mobile Telecommunications (commonly known as 4G)]/5G and other uses?
iii) What spectrum allocations do you see in the next 10 years for India?
iv) Any other suggestion in this regard.

Who is attending

The following stakeholders will be meeting with the government to represent their views on the subject. While telecom operators are only represented through their industry body, Big Tech companies find ample representation. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will be present for all meetings, each of which will comprise tech companies, satellite communications companies, telecom equipment makers, and government organisations. These are the individual attendees for each weekday until the following Tuesday.

Day 1: Cellular Operators Association of India, Broadband India Forum, the GSM Association, the Global Suppliers Association, the ITU APT Foundation of India, Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Facebook, Google, Apple, Intel, Qualcomm, TRAI.

Day 2: Global Satellite Coalition, Inmarsat, Hughes, OneWeb, TRAI.

Day 3: Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association; Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council; Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI); the Directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology at Kanpur, Madras, Bombay and Delhi; TRAI.

Day 4: Ministries of Home Affairs, Railways, Civil Aviation, and Shipping; the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics; National Institute of Amateur Radio; TRAI.

Day 5: Ministries of Defence and Information & Broadcasting; Department of Space, TRAI.

Read the meeting notice.

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