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SACFA Approval: The Spectrum Sharing Guidelines

SACFA Approval is issued by the Department of telecommunication to allocate operating frequency spectrum to telecom entities. In 2015, the government of India introduced guidelines for sharing of Access Spectrum by Access Service Providers. In this article, we simplify those guidelines for your understanding.

Point 1: Who has permission to share the access spectrum?

Spectrum sharing is only allowed for the access service providers with the Unified Access Services License, Unified License for access services, Unified license with authorization of Access service in the Licensed service area, where both the service providers have spectrum on the same band.

Point 2: How many service providers can share the spectrum?

Only two telecom service providers using the spectrum in the same band have the permission to share Access Spectrum as per the SACFA guidelines.

Point 3: Guideline for spectrum sharing among service providers of different bands

DOT doesn’t permits Spectrum sharing when both Access Service Providers have spectrum on different bands. Furthermore, DOT prohibits leasing of spectrum in such cases.

Point 4: Guideline for Additional and traded Spectrum

All the Access Spectrum including traded-spectrum will be sharable if the licensees have the same spectrum in the same band.

In case Access Providers add more bands using the auction process, Department of Telecommunication will also make those bands sharable.

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Point 5: Eligibility of Spectrum Sharing

Access Service Providers are only allowed to share the spectrum as per SACFA clearance if they have fulfilled the relevant licensed conditions and other conditions that the Government might introduce from time to time.

Point 6: Guidelines related to roll out obligations

DOT only allows spectrum sharing on the condition that the Access Service Providers fulfil the roll-out obligations and the Specified QoS (Quality of Service) norms.

Point 7: Conditions that don’t allow spectrum sharing

As per the SACFA guidelines, DOT will deem licensee ineligible for spectrum sharing if it’s able to establish that licensee has breached the terms and conditions of the license.

Point 8: Technology during Spectrum Sharing the licensee has permission to use

DOT permits the licensee to use the technology for spectrum sharing. However, it will be subject the terms conditions of the respective Notice Inviting License.

Point 9: Complying with the sharing guidelines

Both the Access Service Providers will be responsible to individually and collectively follow the spectrum sharing guidelines, including interference norms.

Point 10: Requirement of Independent Networks

Department of Telecommunication restricts spectrum sharing among to only two Access Service Providers. It’s also mandatory that two independent networks are provided in the same band.

Point 11: Impact on Spectrum Usage Charge

Sharing Spectrum as per the SACRA Clearance rules won’t impact the Spectrum Usage Charge.

Point 12: Spectrum Cap Guideline

DOT puts the limit to spectrum CAP on both the licensees who are sharing the spectrum. Furthermore, DOT also considers the spectrum that a service provider adds after signing the spectrum sharing agreement and adds 50% of the spectrum that the other licensee holds.

Point 13: Validity of Spectrum Sharing

The validity of spectrum sharing permission will be valid until the balance period of the individual Access Service Provider’s license’s validity or the right to use the spectrum, whichever is earlier.

Point 14: Informing the Department of Telecommunication about spectrum sharing

45 days before the proposed date of commencing spectrum sharing, the Licensee Access providers must intimate the Department of Telecommunication of their right to use the spectrum.

Point 15: Guideline related to undertaking

Both the Access Service Providers sharing the spectrum must submit and undertaking to the DOT that they comply to all the terms and conditions of spectrum sharing. Furthermore, they have to undertake that in any event they’re found to violate those terms and conditions, the DOT has to full right to cancel their spectrum usage rights.

Point 16: Spectrum Sharing Fee

Along with a duly-filled application form for spectrum sharing, the each licensee has to pay the application processing fee of INR 50,000/-.


SACFA approval guidelines for Spectrum Sharing indicate that while it’s possible to share spectrum among Access Service Providers, it’s subject to many terms and conditions.

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While we have simplified those guidelines through this blog, it’s possible many of these points might be too complex to understands. Therefore, you can reach out to our consultants for any clarity.

In this blog, we have discussed the Spectrum Sharing Guidelines Pertaining to SACFA Approval. Read to know about Spectrum Sharing in India.

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