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Administrative allocation of spectrum

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

Why in the News? The Supreme Court of India rejected the Centre’s plea for administrative allocation of spectrum, upholding the principle of open and transparent auction for spectrum allocation.
Why Did the Supreme Court Reject the Centre’s Application? SC emphasized that spectrum allocation to private players should adhere to open and transparent auctions, as established by the landmark 2G spectrum case, to avoid favouritism and ensure fairness and transparency in the distribution of airwaves.
What is the Legal Framework Regarding Spectrum Allocation? Telecommunications Act, 2023 empowers the government to assign spectrum through administrative processes, excluding auction for entities in its First Schedule, such as those engaged in national security, defence, and law enforcement.
What is Spectrum? The spectrum comprises radio frequencies used by wireless signals for communication, including mobile services like 2G, 3G, and 4G, divided into low, mid, and high bands, essential for various types of communication.
Spectrum Allocation Methods Across the Globe New Zealand initiated auctions for spectrum allocation in 1989, followed by many countries. The US transitioned to auctions in 1993 after cellular licence lotteries resulted in speculative applicants and losses. Canada and the EU often use an administrative process rather than an auction