Govt accepts TRAI formula for spectrum allocation

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New Delhi, Dec 26 (UNI) The subscriber linked formula for spectrum allocation has been accepted by the government today which is based on telecom regulator TRAl's recommendation, a move that may hit telecom service providers as they would suffer mounting capital expenditure.

Telecom Minister A Raja has signed the file and sent it to Department of Telecom (DoT) Secretary D S Mathur for its implementation.

Talking to UNI, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General T R Ramachandran said, ''The step has validated all the concerns of COAI and acceptance of the report by the government is not a perfect but a practical way forward.'' DoT is unlikely to allocate spectrum to CDMA player Reliance Communications before the High Court ruling that is slated on January 3.

Meanwhile in a related development Telecom Minister A Raja is expected to meet Solicitor General of India before the High Court ruling on spectrum.

TRAI recommendations are based on subscriber linked formula in which operators have to increase their customer base 2-8 times and lower the spectrum allocation in multiple of 1MHz.

The government nod would mean that the telecom operators have to increase their subscriber base 2-8 times for additional allocation of spectrum.

The move is expected to hit the smaller players at the cost of existing dominant players.

Stating TRAI's recommendations were not based on scientific calculation and were without consultation of the stakeholders, GSM operators COAI had challenged it in the telecom tribunal.

Till now, the GSM operators were getting additional spectrum in the multiples of 2.4 to 2.8 MHz and lowering it to 1 MHz would hit the operators as this would mean additional capital expenditure for them.

UNI

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