Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications got a booster from the telecom industry tribunal on Tuesday as it upheld a ruling on a petition from the association of entrenched GSM technology-based mobile phone service players –who may go to Supreme Court against the verdict.
The decision allows dual technologies which means CDMA-based entrants like the Tatas and Reliance can diversify using GSM technology.
The Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) upheld a decision by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and enables Reliance and Tata Tele to get GSM spectrum.
The tribunal said that dual technology is clearly allowed in the licence conditions and the National Telecom Policy (NTP) framed in 1999. The tribunal also said the GSM operators do not have any vested right to receive spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz. GSM operators claim they have a vested right on spectrum up to 15 MHz.
“We are disappointed with the judgement. We believe that spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz is legitimately ours as per the rules and regulations,” said TV Ramachandran, director-general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which had made the plea.
“We are still reading the judgement and have not yet decided whether we will go to the Supreme Court against the verdict,” Ramachandran told the Hindustan Times.
The tribunal also said that state-owned MTNL and BSNL should not be given special treatment in getting additional spectrum. “We hold that there is nothing irregular in grant of 4.4 MHz as start- up spectrum to respondent (RCom),” the tribunal said.