International experience is against auction of satellite spectrum auctions

April 3 2022; Here is the executive smmary of the paper "SATELLITE SPECTRUM ALLOCATION: International Best Practices and Learnings", published March 30 by the SatCom Industry Association – India. 
Executive Summary:
Globally, satellite operators do not request exclusive tenure of spectrum rights to deliver services and are not requesting exclusive spectrum rights in India either. Satellite spectrum-orbital resources are a globally shared public good managed by the ITU suited for administrative licensing as a global best practice. 
For terrestrial mobile services, the spectrum is exclusive and is managed only by a single mobile operator in a given geographic area and, therefore, cannot be shared amongst the operators, while in the case of satellites, the same spectrum is non-exclusive in nature as it can be used by multiple satellite operators to serve the same geographic area.  
In other words, space-based communications use and reuse shared spectrum resources, therefore, any assignment by auction for satellite spectrum that can be shared between operators, such as the C/Ku/Ka bands, would lead to unnecessary segmentation and very inefficient use of spectrum. It would artificially limit the number of satellite operators sharing the spectrum and exclude them from the market. 
Furthermore, a review of a proposal to replace the administrative licensing regime for shared spectrum uses would encounter technical, legal and economic flaws. Such a proposition would likely be subject to review under the Competition Act 2002, and also lead to several legal hurdles for applying auctions to shared-spectrum use. 
One of the economic flaws would arise from the fact that spectrum auctions are a mechanism to assign spectrum rights on exclusive basis to a limited number of users to solve excess demand. Then the government would have to justify the economic benefits of closing its space economy or reducing it to a minimum participation. In addition, significant costs would be imposed on India from the loss of the shared satellite capacity that India requires in present and future terms, and those costs would greatly surpass, by many times, any fees collected through an auction.
Satellite based communication is very different from terrestrial communications, both are distinct technologies and governed by separate rules and regulations. A forward-looking approach by policymakers is needed to adopt the best practices based on technology and market dynamics in line with international best practices. 
The international trend is clear, and it is against auctions. Out of the 193 ITU member countries, very few including the US, Mexico and Brazil, have ever attempted to auction satellite spectrum in the past.  All such experiments in the world have been abandoned and the practice of auctioning satellite spectrum has been replaced back with a globally adopted administrative process. 
The need of the hour, therefore, is an Open Sky Policy wherein the Satellite operators having capacity over India are permitted to provide full spectrum bandwidth to the Indian public in a competitive manner so that satellite capacity pricing is made available at an affordable level to all.
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