Tussles between entrenched and new telecom service layers are old hat, it seems. In a clash between the new and the new, Tata Teleservices – a relatively recent entrant into the GSM telephony area – has opposed a move by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to give preferential treatment in allotting fresh 2G spectrum to operators that already have spectrum in a circle.
Only two new GSM operators — Reliance Communications (RCom) and Etisalat DB — were allotted 4.4 MHz of start-up spectrum in Delhi, while Tata Teleservices has not yet received its share. Etisalat has not started services in Delhi yet.
In a letter to communications minister A. Raja, the company has said that any move to grant spectrum to those that already have 4.4 Mhz will favour a single company and would be discriminatory to others.
“Every telecom operator is supposed to get 4.4 MHz of spectrum as minimum start-up spectrum. Yet Tata Teleservices has been waiting to receive its start-up spectrum in Delhi and 39 key districts in 9 circles for more than two-and-a-half years,” the letter said.
Tata Teleservices and RCom were allowed to provide 2G mobile services about two years ago when the government approved a dual licence policy that enabled players that use CDMA technology to offer GSM-based services. RCom and Tata Teleservices benefited from this policy.
Tata Teleservices has been also pressing for allocation of 1.8 MHz of additional spectrum in six telecom circles –Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. GSM