Frequency Management or CDMA based mobile telephone service and Spectrum charges
(R. J. S. Kushwaha , joint wireless adviser to the government of India)
1. Spectrum issues for CDMA based systems:
1.1 In accordance with the National Frequency Allocation Plan, 2002 (N. F. A. P. -- 2002), the frequency bands 824-844 MHz paired with 869-889 MHz have been earmarked for WLL systems. These bands have now been allowed to implement CDMA based mobile telephone service under Unified Access Service License (UASL). Nevertheless, coordination of frequency for such application is to be done on case-by-case basis to ensure protection to existing users. Further, NFAP -- 2002 also stipulates that requirements of micro cellular WLL systems based on TDD access techniques, especially indigenously developed technologies, capable of coexistence with multiple operators will be considered in the frequency band 1880-1900 MHz on a case-by-case basis.
1.2 Frequency assignments for implementation of basic services (CDMA based mobile telephone service) have been made to several service providers, viz., BSNL, MTNL, M/s Reliance Infocom Ltd, M/s Tata Teleservices, M/s Bharti Telenet, M/s Shyam telelink, M/s HFCL Infotel, etc. these assignments have been made in 800 MHz/1880-1900 MHz bands for wireless access and also in the microwave frequency bands for point-to-point links.
1.3 Under UASL regime, subject to availability and as per guidelines issued from time to time, the following what a life of frequency and marking to UASL operators:
v Frequencies will be assigned from within the bands earmarked in National Frequency Allocation Plan for such application and in coordination with existing users.
v Initially accumulated maximum of up to 4.4MHz + 4.4MHz will be earmarked in that TDMA based systems or a maximum of 2.5MHz + 2.5MHz in cases of CDMA based systems on case-by-case basis and subject to availability of frequencies. The frequencies May not be continuous and may not be same in all cases or within the whole service area.
v Additional Spectrum beyond the above the stipulation may also be considered for allocation after insuring optimal and efficient utilisation of the already allocated Spectrum taking into account all types of traffic and guidelines/criteria prescribed from time to time.
v However, Spectrum not more than 5 + 5 MHz in respect of CDMA systems or 6.2 + 6.2 MHz in respect of TDMA based systems will be allowed to any UASL operator.
v In the event, a dedicated carrier for micro cellular architecture based systems (in other words Cor-DECT-based networks) is assign the in 1880-1900 MHz band, the Spectrum not more than 3.75 + 3.75MHz in respect of CDMA based systems or 4.4 + 4.4MHz in respect of TDMA based systems will be permitted to any UASL operator.
2. Spectrum charges for use of frequencies for CDMA based networks:
2.1 the revenue share of 2% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) earned from wireless subscribers shall be levied as Spectrum charges for use of wireless access frequencies (in both the bands i.e. 824-844MHz paired with 869-889 MHz and 1880-1900MHz) in the complete service area (not city wise) for wireless access system. This will include the royalty for Spectrum upto 5+5 MHz as well as the license fee for base stations and subscriber terminals (handheld or fixed). This is effective from 25 January 2001.
2.2 The government has decided that Spectrum charges for the GSM based systems and CDMA based systems will be same. Accordingly, proposal is under consideration to Lady Spectrum charges as 3% of AGR for Spectrum beyond 5+5 MHZ and upto 6.25+6.25MHz and 4% of AGR for Spectrum beyond 6.25+ 6.25MHz and upto 10+10MHz or CDMA based systems. It may be noted that Spectrum charge for the GSM based systems is already being levied on above pattern.
2.3 In light of permission by government entrance Circle merger and acquisition, Spectrum charges for wireless access Spectrum beyond 10+10 MHz and upto 15+15 MHz have been decided. The charges for Spectrum beyond 10 MHz for mobile services in 900MHz, 1800MHz bands or any other band, would be as below:
v For additional Spectrum of 2.5MHz or part thereof, beyond 10 + 10MHz, if assigned (GSM or CDMA/ Cor-DECT based) in metro/the telecom circles, an additional charge of 1% of AGR will be levied. Thus, the total Spectrum charges to be paid by such operators would be 5 % of AGR earned from wireless access subscribers.
v Further, additional Spectrum of 2.5MHz or part thereof, beyond 12.5+ 12.5MHz, if assigned (GSM or CDMA/ Cor-DECT based) in metro/the telecom circles, an additional charge of 1% of AGR will be levied. Thus, the total Spectrum charges to be paid by such operators would be 6% of AGR earned from wireless access subscribers.
3. Spectrum charges for microwave links (access, backbone, etc):
3.1 Spectrum charges for microwave point-to-point and points to multipoint links for CDMA based systems are being levied as per orders No.R-11014/4/87-LR (Pt) dated 20 July 1995 and No.R-11014/26/2002-LR/1452 dated 01.4.2003.
3.2 These orders stipulate specific for mothers for calculating Spectrum royalty and license fee, which are based on constant multiplier, distance, bandwidth, number of channels, number of wireless stations, etc. It would be pertinent to note that Spectrum charges for microwave frequencies in respect of GSM based systems are based on revenue sharing.