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GSM entry forced by policy constraints: Tata Tele

GSM entry forced by policy constraints: Tata Tele
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First Published: Tue, Jun 02 2009. 11 08 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Jun 02 2009. 11 08 PM IST
Mumbai: Mobile phone service provider Tata Teleservices Ltd has blamed Indian regulations for compelling it to set up a network based on the GSM, or global system for mobile, technology standard.
The Tata group company, in which Japanese mobile services firm NTT DoCoMo Ltd has a 26% stake, is setting up a GSM phone services, adding to its CDMA (code division multiple access, a rival standard to GSM) networks.
Company officials said there was no option but to roll out a GSM network because CDMA operators were running out of spectrum, or airwaves.
“In India, policy framework has actually caused a problem for the operators to look at any other platform. Today, there is no road map for growth in CDMA in this country,” Tata Teleservices managing director Anil Sardana said in an interview.
“In the past, half of the spectrum needed was allocated to CDMA since it’s an efficient technology,” he added. “They should have given us the same amount of spectrum as is given to other platforms. Then you would have found operators continuing. If the policies choke you, what’s the option before the operators?”
According to government guidelines issued in January 2008, a CDMA operator with the same subscriber base gets roughly half the spectrum allocated to a GSM operator.
This policy decision has been challenged before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, or TDSAT, the telecom redressal body, by Tata Teleservices and CDMA operators’ lobby group Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India.
TDSAT has said it will wait for the government to spell out its stance before it takes a decision.
cnbctv18@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Jun 02 2009. 11 08 PM IST