Tata Tele approaches TDSAT for additional spectrum allocation
Tata Teleservices has approached the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) for a direction to the government to allot additional airwaves for GSM services before the proposed spectrum auction.
Tata Teleservices filed two petitions before TDSAT last week for allocation of additional spectrum. The pleas are scheduled to come for hearing tomorrow before a bench headed by Chairman S B Sinha.
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According to sources, Tata Teleservices has requested the tribunal to direct the department of telecommunications (DoT) to first allot additional spectrum of 1.8 MHz before the proposed auction.
A service provider is authorised to get additional spectrum on achieving subscriber-linked milestones as mentioned under its telecom licence agreement.
On June 11, Reliance Communications (RCom) had approached the tribunal for similar relief. It had requested TDSAT to direct DoT to allocate or earmark 1.8 MHz spectrum to it for GSM services and the balance for CDMA spectrum in line with its agreement with DoT before the auction. TDSAT had issued notice to the DoT to reply within four weeks.
RCom said as its agreement with the Union of India said a telecom licence holder was authorised to get 4.4 MHz spectrum to start its service and an additional 1.8 MHz after achieving specified subscriber numbers as stipulated in subscriber-linked criteria.
The company said it had achieved subscriber-linked criteria and was entitled to get additional spectrum of 1.8 MHz. The petition had said the government was now contemplating to allot the balance contractual GSM and CDMA spectrum on payment of an additional price. This is contrary to the terms of the licence agreement and also against RCom’s vested right to receive the balance of the contracted spectrum, its petition said.
RCom had alleged that DoT acted in a discriminatory manner and allocated spectrum to many operators free of cost even beyond the limit mentioned in the contract.
It had also said that many operators have been allocated spectrum in low frequency band compared to RCom which helped them save capital expenditure of over Rs 20,000 crore for providing telecom services.