DoT panel backs subscriber base formula for spectrum

DoT panel backs subscriber base formula for spectrum

The department of telecommunications (DoT) will allocate additional radio frequency or spectrum to telecom operators, such as Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Communications Ltd, only after they increase their subscriber base by about four times. This formula was recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in August this year.

“DoT committee headed by additional secretary R. Bandopadhyay has submitted its report, recommending to allocate additional spectrum based on Trai proposal, and we will be moving forward with that," said a senior DoT official who did not wish to be named.

In August, while recommending a revision of the subscriber-linked spectrum allocation policy, Trai had suggested increasing the required number of subscribers for a GSM operator to be eligible for getting more than 10Mhz of spectrum from one million to two million in the metros, and from 900,000 to four million in rural areas, or the so-called C circles. “We have also accepted the committee’s proposal to allocate spectrum in 1Mhz lots from here on," added the DoT official.

Meanwhile, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India—a lobby representing telcos that offer mobile telephony services on the dominant GSM technology platform—on Tuesday served a legal notice on DoT.

The notice warns DoT against allocating any spectrum to operators offering phone services through the rival CDMA (short for code division multiple access) technology.