The Department of Telecom is understood to have given additional spectrum to BSNL for mobile services in 17 circles, taking the allocation of radio waves to the state-run firm to a maximum of 10 Mhz in each of these regions.
With this, BSNL now has 10 Mhz spectrum each in 16 circles, while in West Bengal it has around 8.8 Mhz.
A senior DoT official, however, said the PSU has been allocated 1-2 Mhz of trial spectrum in certain circles and no regular allocation has been made to it.
So far, a handful of operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and BPL Mobile have got a maximum of 10 Mhz in two-three circles.
In a letter to circle heads late last month, BSNL head office had asked them to put the allocated trial spectrum to commercial use immediately.
The additional 2G (current mobile usage) spectrum has been earmarked in the 1800 Mhz band for the 16 circles in the range of 2-3.8 Mhz in the run-up to the total 10 Mhz. In all these circles, spectrum was already earmarked in the 900/1800 Mhz up to 8 Mhz.
The Wireless Planning Coordination (WPC) wing of DoT had during March-May this year allocated trial spectrum to BSNL for these circles.
However, it was later decided that this would be converted for commercial use, according to BSNL's directive to its circle heads.