The government needs to audit spectrum usage and refarming of airwaves
to ensure efficient utilisation of the natural resource, the 12th Five
Year Plan document has said.
The 12th Plan (2012-17) said a
"significant amount of additional spectrum" would be needed with the
introduction of new technologies, high bandwidth applications and
increasing user base.
"While effective spectrum planning in this
regard needs to be carried out, the requirement of spectrum in 60GHz
and above bands for all backhaul purposes, audit of spectrum usage and
refarming of spectrum to ensure the efficient utilisation should also be
taken into account during the 12th Plan Period," it added.
refarming of spectrum, telecom operators with 900MHz airwaves will have
to give these up and bid for the less efficient 1800MHz at current
These telcos will be allowed to retain 2.5MHz spectrum in
the 900MHz band, but that will also have to happen at auction
The 12th Plan targets provision of 1,200
million connections, mobile access to all villages and increase rural
teledensity to 70 percent, broadband connections of 175 million by
It also envisages making available additional 300MHz of
spectrum for IMT services and making India a hub for telecom equipment
manufacturing by incentivising domestic manufacturers with thrust on
IPR, product development and commercialisation.
"The 12th Plan
Programmes for telecom sector are guided by the National Telecom Policy
2012. The thrust of NTP 2012 is on raising the competitiveness of Indian
telecom sector, to make it a world leader," the document said.
12th Plan suggests that Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund needs
to be leveraged for providing incentives for pilot projects, fixed
wireline/wireless phones, use of renewable energy sources, telecom
infrastructure and for wireline broadband in rural difficult terrain and
Left wing extremist (LWE) areas.
On financing of telecom sector,
the document said the sector should be allowed to access funding from
Indian Infrastructure Finance Company (IIFCL).
Corporation may be created as a vehicle to access funds at competitive
rates to facilitate the funding needs of this sector on requirement," it
Rationalisation of levies and taxes in the sector may also
be reviewed from time to time to ensure affordable delivery of services
to consumers, it added.
Further, it added that development of new
applications, VAS and devices would be triggered by e-Governance
projects and growth of broadband in rural areas.