Telecom tribunal upholds dual spectrum policy

March 31st, 2009 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) The telecom tribunal Tuesday upheld the government’s dual spectrum allocation policy, allowing companies to offer mobile services under CDMA as well as GSM domain.
Hearing a petition filed by GSM operators challenging the government’s decision, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) said: “We do not find any ground to level malafide intention on the part of the Department of Telecom (DoT) and accordingly hold that the issue of early completion of formalities is not a matter that would require intervention at our level.”

This settlement will enable CDMA players like Reliance Communications and Tata Telecommunications to offer both CDMA and GSM services to its customers.

The government brought in amendments in its telecom policy in October 2007, allowing the CDMA players to enter the GSM domain.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) moved the tribunal challenging this decision.

“We are unable to agree with the COAI that the DoT’s impugned order of Oct 19, 2007 has disturbed the level playing field,” TDSAT said in its judgement, adding: “We hold that there is nothing irregular in grant of 4.4 MHz as start-up spectrum to respondent (RCom).”

The tribunal also rejected the GSM group’s contention that as per licence condition and National Telecom Policy of 1999 (NTP-1999), they have the right to hold spectrum up to 15 MHz.

“We hold that there is nothing in either the NTP-1999 or the licence condition or orders to support the contention of the COAI that they have vested right to 15 MHZ,” said the TDSAT bench.

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