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DoT may not allow spectrum sharing by 3G operators

News18

Updated: January 30, 2012, 6:08 PM IST
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DoT may not allow spectrum sharing by 3G operators
Although no specific reason was given for not allowing sharing of spectrum, sources said this may be allowed in case of two operators having similar frequency bands.

New Delhi: After their 3G roaming agreements being termed as "illegal" by DoT, telecom firms may be in for another shock now with the government deciding against allowing spectrum sharing in this segment. Spectrum sharing was expected to be part of the National Telecom Policy-2011 and the operators were looking forward to it, but the government's decision not to allow this may impact their business plans, sources in the know said.

Although no specific reason was given for not allowing sharing of spectrum, sources said this may be allowed in case of two operators having similar frequency bands.

"Spectrum sharing will not be permitted among licencees having 3G spectrum (in the same circle)," according to the sources.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has already termed the 3G roaming agreements among various operators as "illegal".

Telecom tribunal TDSAT is already hearing the dispute on this. Private operators - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Aircel and Tata Tele Services - have also filed a caveat in both the Supreme Court as well as the high court apprehending that the government may appeal against the TDSAT order which dismissed DoT's plea that the telecom tribunal has no jurisdiction over the intra-circle 3G roaming pacts.

Earlier, The telecom tribunal TDSAT had dismissed the government's plea challenging its jurisdiction to decide on 3G roaming dispute, but directed operators to submit copies of their agreements to DoT.

The tribunal also directed five operators to hand over copies of their 3G roaming agreements to the DoT. It also said that DoT, as per its earlier statement, would maintain confidentiality of the agreements.

DoT had questioned the jurisdiction of TDSAT saying that the tribunal has no power to look into the license terms and conditions entered among the operators and the DoT.

The TDSAT had also given a lifeline to private telecom operators by extending its interim order that restrained DoT from taking any coercive action against them.

Last year, passing an order on December 24, the tribunal had directed the DoT not to take any coercive action against telecom operators.

A day prior to that the government had asked five telecom operators to stop their inter circle roaming on 3G bandwidth within 24 hours and it was challenged by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel and Tata Tele before TDSAT.

First Published: January 30, 2012, 6:08 PM IST
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