'Seniority to be maintained in spectrum allotment'

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New Delhi, Jan 14: Telecom Minister A Raja today asserted that spectrum allocation to new telecom players will be made on a seniority basis.

Last week, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had awarded the Letters of Intent (LoIs) to nine firms such as Unitech, Datacom, Shyam Telelink and Swan Communications. ''In the spectrum allocation, seniority (in terms of who deposited the licence fee first) will be maintained,'' Mr Raja told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of BSNL Insurance Scheme here.

On being asked whether the spectrum will be allocated to all applicants at the same time, the Minister said it is subject to the availablity of the spectrum.

Mr Raja added that the Department of Telecom's Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) is assessing the spectrum availability such as how much spectrum is in hand and how much can be vacated.

However, the Minister refused to divulge the time fram of the spectrum allotment, saying ''I can't say anything at the moment.

The matter is under Court.'' The Minister said the applications received after September 25 last year may be considered after allotting spectrum to first batch or earlier.

Mr Raja said that issuance of LoIs has been done in a very transparent manner to the eligible applicants.

Last week, the WPC had issued new subscriber-linked spectrum allotment norms.


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