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MTNL seeks additional spectrum for Mumbai

The PSU was recently allotted 1.8 MHz each in Delhi and Mumbai taking its total frequency to 8.0 MHz.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 12:35 IST

Having achieved a subscriber base of over 10 lakh in Mumbai, state owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited has approached the government for an additional frequency of two MHz to expand its cellular mobile services.

"We have already crossed the 10-lakh mark of subscriber base in Mumbai. We need additional spectrum to expand our cellular mobile services and we have already applied for this with the Department of Telecom (DoT)," MTNL CMD RSP Sinha said.

MTNL was one of the fastest growing cellular mobile company surpassing the growth of all its competitors, even in the private sector, Sinha said, adding it was for the second time in last five to six months that it had sought additional spectrum to expand services.

MTNL offers a wide range of telecom services in the two metros -- Delhi and Mumbai.

In Delhi, MTNL's subscriber base is over nine lakh. The PSU was recently allotted 1.8 MHz each in Delhi and Mumbai taking its total frequency to 8.0 MHz in both the cities.

The CDMA-based operators had earlier objected to DoT's decision to allocate additional spectrum to MTNL saying that they (the CDMA operators) were being subjected to discrimination as they were denied additional spectrum despite having the prescribed subscriber base.

The allocation of additional spectrum would be on the basis of recently notified guidelines by the DoT that would be linked to subscriber base.

The matter has, however, come under attack from Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata raising objections about the criteria and recently shot off a letter to Union Communication and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran seeking a consultative approach to be followed before taking a final decision.

First Published: May 05, 2006 12:35 IST