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India will be the first country to auction satellite spectrum: TRAI Chairman PD Vaghela

The idea is to float a system which encourages investment in the satellite sector, and not increase the burden on it, Vaghela said

India will be auctioning satellite spectrum as per the comments made by the chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) PD Vaghela at the India SatCom 2022, organised by the Broadband India Forum (BIF). Vaghela said that TRAI received a reference from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling for spectrum to be put to auction, while adding that the telecom watchdog is working on a consultation paper. Why it matters: The announcement is notable as it will make India the first country to auction space-based spectrum, according to Vaghela. Moreover, it is likely to be a blow to stakeholders in the space who have been steadfast in their demand for administrative allocation of spectrum. Not looking to burden the sector: Vaghela said that the regulator is looking to come up with a model which can create an ecosystem but “it should not kill the sector.” He said that the idea is to float a system which encourages investment in the sector, and not increase the burden on it. He added that it is going to be TRAI’s biggest challenge and that the regulator is “conscious of this fact.” Ensuring a level-playing field: Vaghela said that the issue of “level-playing field” between the space sector and terrestrial communications is highlighted again and again in the spectrum discourse. He believes that there are a lot of things that are common in nature which can help both sides to grow in the future, he said. He acknowledged that there are issues…

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