World VoIP NewsDoT rebuffs SSTL request for more CDMA spectrumDoT rebuffs SSTL request for more CDMA spectrum

DoT rebuffs SSTL request for more CDMA spectrum

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India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has rejected a call from mobile network operator Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) for additional 2G spectrum, the Economic Times reports.
SSTL, which operates under the MTS India banner, had requested that the government increase the spectrum awarded to CDMA-based cellcos from 2.5MHz for each circle to 3.75MHz, noting that under existing regulations GSM operators were handed a 4.4MHz frequency block on acquiring a licence. The DoT however has claimed that as CDMA is more efficient utilising the technology could cater ‘to more customers comparatively for the same amount of spectrum’. In addition, the regulator is also understood to have advised the Prime Minister’s office in its reply to SSTL’s request that no additional frequencies will be allocated until a new methodology is put in place to govern the release of the small amount of free spectrum that remains.

Up until March 2009 both GSM and CDMA operators were awarded additional spectrum based on the size of their subscriber base. However, after that date such allocations were suspended, and a DoT-appointed panel issued a report stating that in the future all 2G spectrum should only be issued via auction; the matter was subsequently referred to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which is expected to unveil its recommendations on the matter within the next few days.

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