ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Unfinished Tasks in the Liberalisation of Spectrum for Mobile Services

After a command and control paradigm of spectrum management lasting from 2001 to 2008, India has gone in for a phased transition to a liberalised regime. Notable elements of this change include the unbundling of spectrum from the service licence, the choice of the auction mechanism for the assignment of spectrum and the freedom to use a spectrum block with any technology. However, elements of the current scenario of spectrum markets in India indicate that there remains an unfinished agenda in spectrum liberalisation. These include a high price of spectrum compared to international benchmarks, low spectrum holding per operator, and vast tracts of unutilised spectrum in rural areas. The lacunae in the current framework of spectrum management leading to persisting inefficiencies are elaborated upon and solutions proposed.


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The insightful comments of an anonymous referee are gratefully acknowledged. The usual disclaimer applies.


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