‘GSM Cos Try­ing to Stall Air­wave Sale’

The Economic Times - - Companies - KALYAN PARBAT

CDMA oper­a­tors have fired a fresh salvo at their GSM ri­vals, ac­cus­ing them of try­ing to stall the next 800 MHz air­waves sale, es­ca­lat­ing a war of words be­tween the ri­val tech­nol­ogy groups just days be­fore a new govern­ment as­sumes of­fice. In a let­ter to tele­com sec­re­tary MF Fa­rooqui, the As­so­ci­a­tion of Uni­fied Tele­com Ser­vice Providers of In­dia (Auspi), the group rep­re­sent­ing CDMA oper­a­tors like Sis­tema Shyam Te­le­ser­vices and dual tech oper­a­tors such as Re­liance Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Tata Te­le­ser­vices, has rub­bished a re­cent de­mand of GSM oper­a­tors for the auc­tion of con­tin­u­ous spec­trum within the 800 MHz band. Ac­cord­ing to Auspi, the Cel- lu­lar Oper­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia’s (COAI) view that the 800 MHz spec­trum can be made con­tigu­ous in 15 cir­cles “is clearly in­cor­rect and mis­lead­ing” and in con­flict with the tele­com depart­ment’s stated po­si­tion that the “bulk of such air­waves is non-con­tigu­ous in most ser­vice ar­eas”. ET has seen the let­ter dated May 19.

The COAI is the lobby body rep­re­sent­ing GSM oper­a­tors. It has also de­manded the DoT to sell 800 MHz air­waves as an ex­tended GSM (EGSM) band and club it with 900 MHz fre­quen­cies. CDMA oper­a­tors, who use 800 MHz fre­quen­cies, de­cried the de­mand to make the band EGSM and said any such move “would be a gross vi­o­la­tion of sub­sist­ing con­tracts be­tween DoT and CDMA oper­a­tors”.

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