No spectrum allocation till 12 November

No spectrum allocation till 12 November

New Delhi: The Centre today decided to put on hold allocation of spectrum to mobile service providers till a a scientific evaluation was done by the Telecom Engineering Centre.

Telecom minister A Raja told reporters that the government will also take the law ministry’s view on the matter. “There is scarcity of spectrum and number of applicants are much more than actually can be accommodated... Applications must be synchronised by a legal process... We have referred the matter to Law Ministry to get Solicitor General’s views on the matter," he said.

The government also assured telecom tribunal TDSAT, which is hearing a petition filed by GSM operators, that no spectrum will be allocated to any player until the next hearing on 12 November.

Tribunal chairman Justice Arun Kumar adjourned the hearing after solicitor general Goolam E Vahanvati, appearing for the Centre, told the tribunal that “there will be no allocation of spectrum to any player".

Raja also denied allegations levelled by the Cellular Operators Association of India that the Department of Telecom has shown haste in deciding the new guidelines announced on 19 October.

“Telecom Commission accepted TRAI’s recommendations on use of two technologies under same licence, while on the issue of enhanced subscriber linked criteria, the matter was referred to TEC for further evaluation," Raja said, adding so there was no case for any hasty decision or favouring any one operator as alleged by the existing operators.