New Delhi: The government has accepted Telecom Engineering Centre’s report that has suggested tough norms for spectrum allocation to GSM operators, a move that may make it difficult for players like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to get additional frequency.
“We have accepted TEC report in-principle,” senior ministry officials said. When contacted, Telecom Minister A Raja said: “The matter was challenged in TDSAT... I have asked that an affidavit be filed in the tribunal through DoT’s counsel on the findings of the TEC report on spectrum allocation.”
The TEC has recommended more than eight times increase in subscriber base for GSM operators to become eligible for additional tranche of spectrum. However, in some circles, the TEC has lowered the subscriber base than proposed by telecom regulator TRAI.
The lobby of existing GSM players, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), had challenged DoT’s new norms on spectrum allocation along with the other policy decision to allow CDMA operators offer mobile services under GSM technology with a single licence.
According to a telecom analyst, TEC, a technical wing of the Department of Telecom, has carried out a very “scientific” methodology to arrive at these numbers as it used a host of parameters to calculate the number of subscribers which can be accommodated in a given quantity of spectrum.