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BIF approaches DoT citing concerns over new captive private network norms

BIF has said that it is "puzzled" at the stated precondition for direct assignment of spectrum to enterprises that would entail Department of Telecom (DoT) undertaking demand studies

Telecom

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Industry body Broadband India Forum (BIF) on Wednesday shot off a letter to the Telecom Department flagging concerns over several aspects of newly-framed guidelines for captive private networks, including "high" networth criteria, and uncertainty on pricing of spectrum allocated.
In a letter to Telecom Secretary, K Rajaraman on Wednesday, BIF said it is "puzzled" at the stated precondition for direct assignment of spectrum to enterprises that would entail Department of Telecom (DoT) undertaking demand studies.
"While one can envisage the possibility of demand estimates/studies in the case of public or external networks, the same appear to be rather inconceivable in the case of captive/non-public/ private networks since these would vary from entity to entity in the same category and, further, from category to category and, of course, from industry vertical to industry vertical," BIF said in the letter seen by PTI.
BIF said it is unaware of such studies being practicable or having been done in any other regime and would appreciate details of what is proposed.
'... When it is also stated in the guidelines that the TRAI recommendations would be sought for direct assignment of spectrum, it is not understood why prior demand studies are required when the expert techno-economic authority is anyway involved," BIF said.
Further, as no timeline has been indicated for such activities "enterprises get straightaway impacted by a lack of predictability of the way forward for their industry 4.0 plans".
"Apart from the aspect of allotment of spectrum directly to enterprises, there is uncertainty also as regards the pricing of spectrum. While the decision of zero entry fee for the CNPN (captive non-public network) licence is greatly appreciated, it is unclear whether the spectrum would also be without charge, or, if charged, what it would be and when it would be announced," BIF said.
To hand out to telcos, through policy, a "strong first mover advantage" by giving them spectrum first, well in advance of the enterprises, "would be most unfair and unjust".
"In fact, this veritably tends to convert the option of direct spectrum allotment for enterprises into a non-option, and defeats the intended objective of achieving digitaliiation and Industry 4.0," it said.
Another issue in the guidelines, pertains to eligibility criteria of Rs 100 crore for getting a CNPN licence.
"This appears rather unnecessarily high. While it may be acceptable to large enterprises, it might be a deterrent for young and promising startups, reputed research institutions...," TV Ramachandran, President of Broadband India Forum wrote.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jun 29 2022 | 2:42 PM IST

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