Payal Malik, LIRNEasia’s Senior Research Fellow resident in India, has written an op-ed analyzing the spectrum mess in India and proposing that it be cleaned up in tandem with license renewals that are coming up. Pakistan used the opportunities afforded by license renewals to clean up some policy mistakes made prior to 2004. We hope to feature a piece by a person involved in that process shortly, in an Indian newspaper and/or here.
However, there is one window of possibility of cleaning this pricing conundrum. Very soon, many licences will be coming up for renewal. Trai has been reiterating that the contracted spectrum is 6.2 MHz with respect to GSM and 5 MHz with respect to CDMA. The licensee applying for renewal should then be assigned spectrum up to the committed amount as per the current licence. Any additional spectrum that these licensees require to carry out their operations should be priced through a transparent auction.