It is not just non-telecom users, telecom companies, including the state-owned MTNL, have drawn the TRAI's wrath for not surrendering unused spectrum to the government.
In a letter to Department of Telecom, the regulator has mentioned that four mobile players - MTNL, Bharti Telenet, Shyam Telecom and HFCL - need to surrender the unused spectrum.
A senior MTNL official said that the PSU would not give up the unused spectrum (CDMA) as this was allocated to it for its WLL service. While many other players had migrated to full mobility, it had to offer limited mobility (WLL) being a PSU.
The official added that MTNL had invested a huge amount in in the network although, it did not have a large subscriber base for this service.
"But we are trying to increase our WLL subscriber base for which we will need this spectrum.. Why should we surrender?" The official asked.
TRAI wants MTNL to give up three carriers of the total seven it has been allocated. In case of Bharti Telenet, the regulator wants it to surrender two carriers in Madhya Pradesh; Shyam Telesystems to vacate two carriers in Rajasthan and HFCL to relinquish two carriers in Punjab.
The DoT has asked these service providers to surrender the spectrum due to failure on their part to meet the benchmarked subscriber base growth.
Trai has asked telecom companies with excess spectrum in 824-844 Mhz paired with 869-889 Mhz band, to make this available for 3G services in the country.