Sri Lanka Cabinet gets involved in spectrum refarming

Posted on June 30, 2006  /  0 Comments


‘Sri Lanka’s cabinet has agreed clear up frequency spectrum on few bands, as the government looks to attract new operators to offer telephony services at affordable rates.

“The cabinet has agreed to clear spectrum in 450 megahertz, 800-900 megahertz, 1800 megahertz and 2-gigahertz radio frequencies, which will be re-allocated for public telecommunications networks,” Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told reporters Thursday.’

Spectrum refarming is one of the most important and difficult tasks facing regulatory agencies today. The quasi-property rights enjoyed by users requires that they be compensated for the losses they incur when they are compelled to move in the course of refarming. One of the groups most resistant to moving are the military. Involvement at the Prime Minister’s level has been necessary to deal with this problem in India.

In Sri Lanka, the authorities may consider giving a direction to the Ministry of Finance that the compensation that should be paid to entities vacating frequencies should calculated on a replacement cost basis rather than on a depreciated cost basis. This was the main reason the clearing of the 1800 MHz band (for which app. USD 2 million has been collected from Dialog and Mobitel) has been slowed down.

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