In a high-tech industry such as mobile telephony, a firm should ideally be able to choose its technology mix to serve customers best. But the department of telecom’s (DoT’s) reported views against CDMA-based operators offering GSM services on the same licence deflates this basic expectation. The crux lies in the escalating fight for spectrum—specific air frequencies needed to provide telecom services. This has led current GSM players to resist other technology operators entering and eating into their expansion schemes.
Spectrum has been bundled so far with service licences and add-ons awarded on subscriber numbers. This has given incentive to add numbers without maximizing spectrum use by existing subscribers. It is also curious how in the mandatory verification drive, a substantial number of names were struck off with little resistance from the ‘subscribers’. The earlier an efficient market for spectrum is created, the better.