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Panel on spectrum to meet operators minus BSNL, MTNL

State run telecom companies, BSNL and MTNL, have been excluded from the panel to review spectrum allocation norms recommended by the Telecom Engineering Centre.

business Updated: Nov 24, 2007 15:59 IST

State run telecom companies, BSNL and MTNL, have been excluded from the panel to review spectrum allocation norms recommended by the Telecom Engineering Centre.

The committee, headed by DoT Additional Secretary R Bandhopadhyay and comprising representatives from GSM and CDMA operators, will be meeting on November 26 and 30.

Senior officials of the two PSUs expressed concern over being left out from the panel on spectrum allocation norms.

"Public Service Enterprises have to face many constraints in their operations, not the least being aggressive lobby by competitors to stymie their expansion," Minister of State from Commerce Jairam Ramesh had said recently in a letter to Sunil Mittal on a matter related to spectrum allocation.

PSUs have done far better in meeting social obligations compared to private players. BSNL, in particular, has fulfilled social role much more effectively than all the private companies put together.

Leaving BSNL and MTNL out of the purview of discussion on spectrum allocation norms may not serve the purpose, some of the operators said.

TEC had given its report on spectrum allocation norms earlier this month, suggesting manifold increase in subscribers for allocation of additional radio waves.

The Communication Minister A Raja had accepted the report in-principle, but in view of strong protests from GSM operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular, the government constituted a panel to revisit the norms.

The committee has to give a report by the end of this month.