Growth of Indian communications market staggering:Ofcom

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New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) Ofcom, the UK Regulator of Broadcasting and Communication, is moving to a market-based approach in allocating use of radio spectrum.

Spectrum is a crucial economic resource, and is three per cent of our GDP, so it should not remain unutilised, Ofcom chairman Lord David Currie said here.

''As a Regulator, we are hesitant to use it, and so are going to auction it in a major way,'' he said.

It is not for a Regulator to determine the use of spectrum; it was better to leave it to market forces to make use of it, he said.

Lord Currie was taking part in a discussion at the India Digital Networks Summit organised by the Indiatelevision.Com here.

The UK will completely switch off its analogue system by 2012, which will release some more spectrum, and we aim to fully exploit the economic potential of this precious commodity, he said.

Pointing out that spectrum management was a very live issue in India too, he said the country's fast maturing communications market mattered a lot to UK.

''It is fascinating time to be in India at present.It is not just the size of the market but the rate of innovation that was staggering,'' he said .

He said that both the countries were facing the twin challenges of globalisation and convergence of technologies. Today broadband and broadcasting were colliding and convergence was bringing huge benefits to consumers.

In UK the delivery of converged services was impacting traditional broadcasters in a big way and the same situation was going to happen in India too, he said.

Replying to a question, Lord Currie said Ofcom was increasingly looking towards self-regulation by broadcasters.

He said Ofcom has been able to maintain its independence as it is not funded by central government taxation.

Though its chairperson is appointed by the Government, there was a very tough procedure for his removal.

UNI

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