New Delhi: Telecom regulator TRAI is understood to have recommended continuing the current practice of unlimited number of players in a service area.
“We are not mandating any cap on the number of players,” a senior TRAI official said. The regulator is all set to bring out the recommendations this week.
This proposal will be at variance with the Department of Telecom’s line of thinking. At present, there are 5-8 access providers in each of the 23 service areas.
An increase in the number of service providers for wireless and wireline access telecom services has significantly raised the demand on the limited spectrum resources for wireless access, said a DoT official.
While leading GSM operators wanted to cap the number of players in a circle, saying spectrum is a concern for more number of players, CDMA operators demanded the numbers to be left to market forces.
The regulator is also likely to propose a higher limit of 25% from the current 10% which a telecom company is allowed to hold in another licencee firm in the same circle.
The licensor wants this cap of 10% to go off entirely.
The situations when this 10% limit was proposed are no more there as the industry has matured. Operators should be allowed to hold stake in other companies in the same circle without any hindrance.
The 10% cap had forced Tata group to exit Idea Cellular as Tata Teleservices and Idea cellular were operating in the same circle in most part of the country.