COAI serves legal notice on DoT over spectrum delay

COAI serves legal notice on DoT over spectrum delay

New Delhi: Fearing that existing players may find it difficult to get additional spectrum if telecom regulator TRAI’s recommendations are accepted, GSM operators have slapped a legal notice to the government for delay in allocating the frequency to them.

“Several applications for allotment of spectrum had been cleared by all the relevant competent authorities, making it clear that the spectrum was available for allotment," COAI director general T.V. Ramachandran said.

The legal notice was served to the Department of Telecom through COAI’s counsel.

He contended that GSM operators had been facing a severe crunch on spectrum and have been waiting for months or even years in some cases to get spectrum.

“Non-availability of spectrum was affecting both new licensees who were yet to get their initial allotments and also the operators who had far exceeded the subscriber linkages that had been prescribed by the government," he said.

Sources said COAI’s move was prompted by TRAI’s recommendations which suggested up to six times higher subscribers to become eligible for additional spectrum.

Expressing concern over flood of new applications for licenses, Ramachandran said: “It would be desirable that DoT first address the applications that were already pending with it when it issued last licenses in December 2006."