New Delhi: The department of telecommunications (DoT) is likely to reject a request by Vladimir Evtushenkov, chairman of JSFC Sistema, Russia’s largest consumer services firm, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to increase the spectrum at start-up for CDMA operators from 2.5+2.5MHz to 3.75+3.75 MHz.
Evtushenkov, in his letter dated 9 March to Singh, had sought increased allocation, according to two DoT officials familiar with the development. DoT in its reply said that spectrum is allocated to all operators as per the licence agreements signed with the government, according to the officials, who didn’t want to be named.
The criteria for the allocation of spectrum was devised on the basis of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) August 2007 recommendations and a Telecom Engineering Centre study in October 2007 by a DoT internal committee.
Higher allocation: Sistema’s Vladimir Evtushenkov has written to the Prime Minister seeking an increase in start-up spectrum. Madhu Kapparath/Mint
According to a senior official of the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) wing of DoT, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media, the issue has also been referred to Trai.
“They have got as much spectrum as they are eligible for as per the existing guidelines. If they are eligible for more spectrum, then we will look into the matter,” said the official, who is one of the two cited above. The regulator “is at present looking into the allocations criteria as part of the recommendations on spectrum management. We are waiting for the report”.
Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, the CDMA-based telecom service provider in which Sistema is a majority stakeholder, which runs the MTS brand of mobile services in India, had also requested for an increase in the initial start-up spectrum in its inputs to the consultation paper on spectrum management that Trai is looking into. Trai’s final recommendations on spectrum management are expected soon.