Spectrum winners may have to fulfil more roll-out obligations
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Spectrum winners may have to fulfil more roll-out obligations


New Delhi: There are additional obligations that telecom companies winning spectrum in the upcoming auction would have to fulfill.

The Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom has taken a view that apart from existing roll-out norms based on covering district headquarters, telecom companies should also be asked to cover up to block head quarters. This will, however, be applicable only on those telecom firms who use shared infrastructure created from public fund.

The EGoM headed by the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, had asked the DoT to take operators' feedback on the new formula and send a revised proposal for the Group's consideration. The EGoM is scheduled to meet tomorrow to take a decision on this issue, apart from determining the reserve price for the spectrum auction.

The TRAI had earlier proposed to completely overhaul the roll-out norms by basing it on habitation instead of geographical coverage. But the DoT trashed this proposal on grounds that it would be legally untenable to change roll-out norms drastically, given that most operators have already completed their existing obligation.

The DoT had instead proposed to ask operators to cover 20 per cent of block headquarters in their circles within the first two years and another 10 per cent in the third year. Coverage beyond that will be left to the operators depending on the viability of offering services.
Under the current licence conditions, mobile operators are required to cover at least 10 per cent of the district headquarters in the first year and 50 per cent of the districts in three years.
Spectrum winners may have to fulfil more roll-out obligations

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