TRAI maintains stand on satcom issue after DoT queries
3 weeks ago 06:00:21am

TRAI maintains stand on satcom issue after DoT queries

New Delhi, 07-May-2022, By IBW Team

TRAI maintains stand on satcom issue after DoT queries

Responding to queries raised by the Department of Telecom (DoT), regulator TRAI on Thursday stuck to its recommendations on creating a licensing framework for satellite-based connectivity for low-bit-rate applications like ATMs, internet of things devices, and traffic management.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) published its response to clarifications sought by the Department of Telecom (DoT) on the matter based on issues raised by the Digital Communications Commission (DCC)—the apex decision making body of the department.

The regulator had in August 2021 recommended to the government to replace the existing formula-based mechanism and levy spectrum usage charges of 1 percent of AGR (adjusted gross revenue) for using satellite frequencies under the NLD (National long-distance) service license, PTI reported from New Delhi.

Further, TRAI said the “NLD service licensees should be asked to do the accounting separation and maintain the revenues accruing from the satellite-based services and other licensed services separately.”

The DCC decided to refer the matter back to TRAI to examine the feasibility of this accounting separation.

In its response, TRAI said that DoT has not stated the issues in implementing the revenue separation.

The regulator said, “The Authority reiterates its earlier recommendations and affirms that it is feasible for an NLD service provider to segregate revenues accruing from satellite connectivity.”

The DoT had also shared that the DCC has asked TRAI to give recommendations on reducing the charges about the roll-out of satellite-based communication systems.

However, TRAI said this issue was not part of the consultation process carried out by the regulator for low-bit-rate connectivity applications.

“The Authority is of the view that this issue may be looked into and recommendations may be given, if a detailed fresh reference is made by DoT in this regard,” Trai said.

The regulator further asked the DoT to specify the charges the government levies on satellite-based communication and which it is desirous of reducing.

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