Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


5G Spectrum to Private Companies


Dt:  10/6/22

5G Spectrum to Private Companies

Dr T.H.Chowdary*


TRAI’s and possibly DOT’s view that some slices of  5 G radio spectrum may be allotted to private companies for their  captive communications ( without interconnection with public  networks of  private telephone  companies and BSNL/MTNL) is being opposed by the Cellular Operators Association of India  (COAI)  comprising chiefly  Reliance Jio, Bharati Air Tel an d Vodafone-Idea . The COAI’s opposition is unreasonable and not really in public interest.


2.  Large companies with all -India operations  do need efficient, reliable within - the - company communications.   Even the government of  India  in Delhi has such a private, multi-site communication system called RAX.  Many companies are having private automatic exchanges (PAXs  in their  offices. The Bombay Stock Exchange ( BSE) and National Stock Exchange are  having  multicity, VSAT satellite networks.  It is therefore  logical  that  companies  with multi city operations  are licenced  to have  private 5G spectrum -using communications . It may affect the  revenue-earning   opportunity  of COAI member companies, as well as  BSNL and MTNL. Government’s public policy cannot  be for protecting some companies’ revenues, even if it means denial of sinews of efficient and economic operation of some other companies.


3. The COAI repeats  the wrong notion that spectrum  is a limited and finite resource it is  neither. Radio spectrum is not created by government; companies create it.  It is unlimited and inexhaustible because it can be re-used again and again in spatially distributed areas, all facilitated by information technology (IT).  Just as vehicular  transportation on  cities’ roads is governed  by traffic regulation systems and policemen, government should regulate the use of spectrum so that the  same slice is not used by more  than one service  provider, in the  same service area.  The cost of such regulation should  be collected from the service  providers.


4. Sunlight is used to produce electricity.  It is not produced by government and so it does not auction sunlight.  So should radio -spectrum   not generated by government should  not be auctioned .


5. The COAI should use its intellectual and business  might to persuade government  not to auction radio spectrum that it does not  create and thus inflate the  cost of 5G services  to users.  Just as air and  water are essential for life and  so should  not  be  auctioned  or priced highly  to generate revenues for government, radio-spectrum is essential for digital India, for information society in which  people communicate  for work and  commute for pleasure should not be auctioned and so  priced highly to make it less affordable. Radio spectrum is  inexhaustible; it can be  regenerated and like air and  water  should be for use by all at least cost.


6. COAI  or any interests thwarting allotment of  slices of  5G spectrum to companies for internal communications  is unreasonable.  (436 words)