The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today released recommendations on Spectrum Requirements of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) for Train Control System for RRTS Corridors’.

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) through their letter dated 29.11.2021 had sought TRAI to furnish its:

  1. Recommendations on the administrative assignment of spectrum to NCRTC and the quantum, pricing/ charging thereof, and any other terms and conditions, for separate spectrum requirements of NCRTC in the 700 MHz band;
  2. Any other recommendations deemed fit for the purpose, including assignment of the same spectrum for other RRTS / Metro rail network pan-India.

In this regard, a Consultation Paper on ‘Spectrum Requirements of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) for Train Control System for RRTS Corridors’ was issued on 09.06.2022. Comments from 20 stakeholders and counter-comments from 1 stakeholder were received. An Open House Discussion (OHD) was held on 25.08.2022 through virtual mode.

Based on the comments received from the stakeholders and its own analysis, TRAI has finalized its Recommendations on ‘Spectrum Requirements of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) for Train Control System for RRTS Corridors’.

The salient features of these Recommendations are as follows:

  1. 5 MHz (paired) spectrum in 700 MHz bands is assigned to NCRTC for use in RRTS corridors along the railway tracks. The frequency spectrum to be assigned to NCRTC shall be adjacent to the frequency spectrum assigned to Indian Railways in the 700 MHz band.
  2. The frequency spectrum assigned to NCRTC may also be assigned to other RRTS/ Metro rail networks, which are geographically separated and not likely to cause any interference with one another.
  3. To ascertain the feasibility of assigning the same frequency spectrum (assigned to NCRTC and other RRTS/ Metro rail network) to the telecom service providers on a non-interference basis, a field trial may be conducted involving the Ministry of Railways and the telecom service providers, under the supervision of DoT.
  4. To ascertain the feasibility of RAN sharing, a field trial of RAN sharing through MOCN may be conducted by the Ministry of Railways involving IR and NCRTC, under the supervision of DoT.
  5. A separate category of Permission/ License for Captive Non-Public Network for Railway Networks (CNPN-R) may be created. However, the permission/ licensing regime for CNPN-R may be kept very simple and light touch.
  6. Spectrum charging mechanism and payment terms:
    1. The Auction Determined Price for 10 years allocation should be equal to 0.5 times (half times) the Auction Determined Price discovered in the latest 2022 Auction for the 700 MHz spectrum band for the respective LSA.
    2. The Auction Determined Price of the respective LSAs through which the RRTS/metro rail network passes should be used as a benchmark, adjusted for the corridor area relative to the total geographical area of a particular LSA on a pro-rata basis.
    3. In order to design a clear road map a similar methodology shall be applicable to other RRTS/Metro rail networks as well as to existing RRTS/Metro rail networks, in case of future spectrum requirements.
    4. The payment terms shall be flexible providing options of full upfront payment, part upfront payments as well as equal annual installments.
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