The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper titled “Review of Terms and Conditions of Public Mobile Radio Trunking Service (PMRTS) and Captive Mobile Radio Trunking Service (CMRTS) Licenses.”

Earlier, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), through its reference dated June 2, 2022, requested TRAI to provide recommendations on the terms and conditions for the issue of fresh licenses for CMRTS and PMRTS services, especially with respect to technical conditions (such as connectivity with public switched telephone network (PSTN), internet, use of digital technology, allocation of spectrum to PMRTS, use of network slicing under 5G etc.) and financial aspects. TRAI was also requested to give its views on any other issues considered relevant for CMRTS and PMRTS licenses. Along with the said reference, DoT also enclosed the representations received from the PMRTS licensees, their association, and CMRTS licensee. In this regard, TRAI has issued the consultation paper, seeking inputs from the stakeholders.

In the consultation paper, TRAI has sought stakeholders’ comments on whether there is a need to review the terms and conditions of PMRTS licence and PMRTS authorisation under unified licence (UL). If yes, in what manner should the scope of the licence, roll-out obligation, technical conditions, network interconnection, and security conditions be amended. TRAI has also enquired whether the PMRTS providers should be permitted internet connectivity with static IP addresses. Further, the regulator has sought the views of stakeholders on whether there is a need to review the extant provisions relating to service areas for PMRTS authorisation under UL, and whether it would be appropriate to grant PMRTS authorisation for three different categories with service areas as national area, telecom circle/metro area, and secondary switching area. TRAI has explored if there is a need to review the extant provisions relating to the authorised area for the use of a particular frequency spectrum to PMRTS providers. If yes, the regulator has asked to mention the manner in which these provisions should be amended.

Another issue raised by TRAI in the consultation paper is whether there is a need to review the mechanism of shifting the fixed station from one location to another location within the authorised area for the use of a particular frequency spectrum. It has also enquired whether there is a need to permit PMRTS providers to shift a few frequency carriers out of a pool of frequency carriers, assigned to an existing fixed station, to a new fixed station located within the authorised area for use of the pool of frequency carriers. Other issues in the consultation paper include the requirement of obtaining wireless operating licence (WOL) by PMRTS providers, provisions related to sale, lease and rent and import of the radio terminals of PMRTS, the need to mandate PMRTS providers to migrate to spectrally efficient digital technologies in a time-bound manner, and the possibility of delivering PMRTS/CMRTS using 4G/5G networks, among others.

The regulator has invited written comments from stakeholders on the issues raised in the consultation paper by September 26, 2023 and counter-comments by October 10, 2023.