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Idea’s Mumbai entry hits spectrum roadblock, launch delayed

Idea’s Mumbai entry hits spectrum roadblock, launch delayed
PTI
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First Published: Wed, Aug 08 2007. 04 45 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Aug 08 2007. 04 45 PM IST
New Delhi: Aditya Birla group company Idea Cellular’s entry into the lucrative Mumbai circle has hit the spectrum roadblock as the telecom operator is yet to receive radio waves to start operations.
Not just Mumbai, the company’s plans to roll out services in Bihar and Jharkhand has also been delayed due to the unavailability of spectrum.
“We got the licence in December last year for both the circles (Bihar and Jharkhand are treated as one circle). We hoped to start the services by July but so far no spectrum has been released. Once we get the spectrum, we will take about three-four months to put the network,” company Vice-President (Corporate Affairs) Rajat Mukherjee said here.
But this has not deterred the company’s pan-Indian aspirations.
“We have applications pending for nine more circles for unified access licence,” he said. Idea currently operates in 11 circles.
Spectrum, the lifeline of mobile services, has been scarce for the wireless telephony as existing operators expand the subscriber base and new aspirants enter the sector.
The scarcity of spectrum has been a constant concern for Department of Telecom, which is negotiating with the Defence Minstry for vacating spectrum under their occupation.
At present there are already four leading mobile operator -- Bharti, Hutch, MTNL and BPL in Mumbai circle.
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First Published: Wed, Aug 08 2007. 04 45 PM IST