Precious Spectrum: Allocation Criteria, Cross-Over Technology and Level Playing Field*



Case Code : CLMISC003
Publication date : 2008
Subject : Miscellaneous
Industry : Telecom
Length : 03 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Regulatory, telecom, spectrum allocation, National Telecom Policy, cross-over technology, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI, GSM, CDMA, Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tata


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In 2007, GSM mobile operators locked horns with CDMA-technology based service providers and new entrants in the telecom sector over the issue of additional spectrum allocation. Sector regulator TRAI favored opening up of the sector and adoption of higher subscriber-based norms for spectrum allocation. DoT granted permission to CDMA operators to join the GSM club through its dual technology policy, in the face of opposition and legal action by GSM operators.


Regulatory environment
New policy


On August 28, 2007, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended the opening up of the telecom sector to new players and issued revised subscriber-based criteria for fresh allocation of spectrum, the radio waves that permit mobile phone operators to provide wireless communication services.

With TRAI recommending a four- to six-fold increase in the existing subscriber base, GSM operators represented by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) reacted sharply, arguing that as stakeholders, the sector regulator should have to consult them before issuing fresh guidelines to the Government of India (GoI)...

Questions for Discussion:

1. How, according to you, are the changes in policies related to spectrum allocation and cross-over technology in 2007 expected to affect the existing players in the Indian telecom sector?
2. Do you think these changes would lead to competition and a level playing field for operators in this sector? Give reasons to support your answer.

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