TDSAT asks govt to release start-up spectrum

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New Delhi, Dec 12 (UNI) In a fresh twist to the ongoing spectrum issue, the Telecom Disputes Settlement And Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) today asked the government to issue an initial allocation of radio frequencies to new players without any delay.

Counsel for Department of Telecom (DoT) Goolam Vahanawati said spectrum will be allocated in the 4.2 MHz and 6.2 MHz, but there will be no spectrum allotment over 6.2 MHz until the sub-committee appointed by the DoT submits its report.

The report is expected in a week and the tribunal also asked the government to defer the allotment of additional spectrum to existing players.

TDSAT has set January 9 as the next date for hearing on the GSM body Cellular Operators Association of India's (COAI) spectrum petition.

The verdict comes as a big blow for existing telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea as new players seeking to enter the lucrative GSM services can get their hands on spectrum.

The ruling will also benefit Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications, which is expected to start its GSM services and in most cases be eligible for spectrum before any of the big existing operators.

The government counsel said it is now going to go ahead and allocate start-up spectrum for eligible operators.

UNI

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