SIA-India - SatCom Industry Association

Sudhir Gupta

Member, Former Secretary Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)

Sudhir Gupta had a long and illustrious career spanning 35 years in the telecommunication industry. He has worked in different capacities in planning, switching, transmission and external plant in the Department of Telecommunications from 1982 to 2003. Subsequently, he worked in Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for 14 years, initially as a senior advisor and in the last 3 years as Secretary, TRAI. Having worked for over three and half decades as the operator, policy maker and the regulator, he has exposure in all aspects of Telecom functioning in the country. During his tenure in TRAI, he was responsible for all regulatory matters related to telecommunications network development, spectrum management, licensing, tariff fixation, competition issues and consumer issues.

As the lead specialist for the Authority, he has authored a number of major policy recommendations and regulatory guidelines on varied issues like introduction of 3G+ services via spectrum auction, separation of services and spectrum, need for open SatCom policy, introduction of converged unified licensing, M&A norms, mobile number portability, guidelines for spectrum trading and sharing framework, roadmap for development and growth of ICT sector and its applications (e.g. e-government, mobile content, m-banking) for financial inclusion.

He has also used his leadership position to advocate for the use of telecommunications during disasters and emergencies, improvement in Quality of service and consumer grievance redressal mechanism by the telecom operators. I was also associated in framing the policy guidelines on Cloud, smart cities and M2M communications. During his tenure, he has represented the Authority in Inter ministerial Co-ordination Committee (ICC) for INSAT for around 8-9 years.

Some other key works include

  • Formulation of a national program to use universal service funds to subsidize the construction of mobile network towers. This led to an auction in 2008 where operators bid for subsidies to construct about 7800 towers and deployment of mobile services in rural areas.
  • Carried out global consultations with vendors, international agencies, and regulatory authorities to reflect international best practices and technological trends in promoting Broadband in the country and developed recommendations to support the growth of broadband services in rural and remote areas.
  • In view of poor ICT development and telecommunications connectivity in the remote and inhospitable region of North East India, prepared an investment plan for improving Telecom Services in the NE Region (September 2013) that raised awareness of deficits and led the Government to sanction around US$3 billion for ICT development.

International Experience:

  • ITU consultant to The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) in 2005 on the project for "Identifying the relevant QOS parameters and the methodology for monitoring QOS through public survey". The studies also covered the methodology to project and generate demand for the telecom services specially in the rural areas.
  • ITU Senior Licensing Expert to Nepal Telecommunication Authority in the year 2007 for "Review of the telecommunications act and policy of Nepal (Preparing the ground for migration towards unified licensing)". The assignment required reviewing the current Telecommunication Act and Policy of Nepal and recommend appropriate steps to be taken for the implementation of Unified licensing regime suitable for Nepal.
  • Provided expert advice and guidance to Communications Authority of Maldives (CAM) for Mobile Number Portability Implementation in Maldives. The assignment requires assisting CAM in identifying the various options, methodologies and related costs for implementing Mobile Number Portability in the Maldives.
  • During his career, he has presented a number of papers on various telecom related issues at ITU, APT and SATRC workshops and seminars.

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics in the year 1979 from SGSITS, Indore;
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in IT and Mgt. in the year 1999 from IIPA, New Delhi;
  • Certificate course in Competition Law & Advanced Professional Course in Competition Law & Market Regulations from School of Competition Law, IICA, New Delhi.

POST-RETIREMENT

He superannuated from TRAI in July, 2017. After superannation, he has served in a committee formed by the group of lenders (around 34 leading banks of the country) to advise them on ‘Monetization of Assets’ of M/s Reliance Communication and its two associate companies. He was also associated with M/s Chase India, a research and public policy consulting firm for two years as Senior Advisor. He is also providing consultancy service, through his firm named “TECH EDGE CONSULTANTS” to companies/firms on public policy, issues related to Licencing and regulatory matters in the ICT sector including the Broadcasting sector of India.

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