Reliance Tele breaks away from COAI stand on spectrum

Reliance Tele breaks away from COAI stand on spectrum


New Delhi: As GSM mobile operators prepare to fight it out with the government for more spectrum, a member of their tribe has written to the Department of Telecom saying there is no merit in the demand for additional frequency.

Anil Ambani-promoted GSM mobile company Reliance Telecom Ltd has said it does not agree with the recent notice of GSM players’ body — Cellular Operators Association of India — threatening legal action against the department if more spectrum was not made available to them, DoT sources said.

In the letter, RTL has said there is enough spectrum in the country to achieve 80% teledensity and if 10 MHz of radio wave was allocated to every operator and they use spectrum efficient technology, the question of scarcity will not arise.

This is not the first time that RTL has come out with such a view, as it took a similar position in its reply to Trai’s consultation paper on telecom reforms earlier.

COAI had slapped a legal notice on the government asking for allocation of requisite spectrum to GSM players as per the subscriber-linked criteria. It had also said that GSM players were facing a severe spectrum crunch for the last three years.

When contacted, COAI sources said Reliance Telecom was not a party to its notice to DoT on the spectrum issue, as it had a different view.

RTL had supported the migration of limited mobility operator to full mobility, even though COAI was opposed to it, the association sources said.

Reliance has both GSM and CDMA operations, but CDMA is bigger with presence in all telecom circles. RTL’s stance on spectrum allocation is surprising given the company’s plan to have a pan-India presence. It has also applied for spectrum.