Tata Docomo Surrenders Extra CDMA Spectrum in 15 Telecom Circles

Dual technology telecom operator, Tata Docomo, the flagship brand for Tata Teleservices (TTL) has surrendered its excess CDMA Spectrum in 15 telecom circles out of 19 circles due to huge losses amid intense competition or less scope in CDMA services.

tata docomo

Tata Teleservices (TTL) which is country’s sixth largest telecom operator in terms of subscribers (including both CDMA and GSM) had told the Department of Telecom (Dot) – Govt of India that it would surrender all CDMA spectrum beyond the 2.5 MHz start-up limit in 15 telecom circles, with the exception of Delhi and Mumbai, where it would retain 3.75 units by paying the surcharge of extra spectrum.

The company said that “We have completed the surrender of CDMA spectrum in all circles wherein we have made the decision to surrender.It is pertinent to mention here that our responsibility and liability, if any, with respect to the surrendered CDMA spectrum has been fully completed and discharged.By retaining only start-up CDMA spectrum in the 800 MHz band, one won’t have to pay any auction-linked price to retain any additional airwaves in a future M&A situation as the new rules mandate.

Tata Docomo offers CDMA mobile and data services in 19 circles, except for Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and the Northeast.The 15 telecom circles where Tata Teleservices surrendered its extra 20 MHz of CDMA spectrum (beyond 2.5 Mhz) are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar – Jharkhand, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh – Chattisgarh Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu – Chennai, UP East and UP West.

In November 2012, Tata Docomo was announced that company had winding up its CDMA operations in Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and the Assam telecom circles from January 18, 2013, since it no longer had the spectrum to operate in these three circles as earlier we shared on TelecomTalk.

According to new telecom Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) rules, an mobile service provider will be entitled to only a block of spectrum which had been allotted at an administrative price or without an auction process (like startup spectrum with license). The merged entity would need to pay the market price for any additional airwaves beyond that one block.

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  • Rakesh bagla December 25, 2013 5:39 pm

    Kewal MTS ki Politics or Russian Government ke support ke karan Tata ko apni services band karni pad rahi hai , bcz agar spectrum hai aar ye kah kar services band kar rahe hi hum loss mai hai to ye apna Spectrum Sharing Bases pr other operator ko de skahte hai pr esha koi nahi karega ki who licence hi surrender kr de its a like kisi ne koi CAR karidi aaur 5 din baad CAR waali company ko bole ki aap to Rakh lo CAR aaur hum ko Paise bi nahi chaiye ..pr aap Rakh lo ……….same tata bi esha hi kar raha hai Licence hai 2023 tak aar all ready fees pay kiye hue hai aaur ab kah rahe hai le lo waaps its a foolish thing …..only for Politics they close Services …….May be Tata Can Close soon ISP licence also ….bcz some other operator never want ki tata can work india …

  • yogesh sarvade December 19, 2013 11:03 pm

    maharashtra not include in these 15 circles. So don’t worry. I m also from maharashtra. n 2 years back I had ported to tata gsm from cdma. tata 3g offers r good.

  • D!p@nK@r December 19, 2013 10:17 pm

    Oh no! Why they have to continued their service in WB circle? They must shut down their both GSM and CDMA service and released back their spectrum to Govt.

    We want UNINOR should come back and continued their service in WB circle.

  • Suruthi December 19, 2013 7:11 pm

    Does this mean that tataindicom will not work in these states? I am from Maharastra and I have a tataindicom CDMA connection. Recently I went to bangalore and mysore, my cdma handset was not connecting to network.

    should i port to docomo gsm?

    • yogesh sarvade December 19, 2013 11:02 pm

      maharashtra not include in these 15 circles. So don’t worry. I m also from maharashtra. n 2 years back I had ported to tata gsm from cdma. tata 3g offers r good.

    • Rushabh December 20, 2013 9:47 am

      Maharashtra is not included in this…But still if you go out of maharashtra circle there will b no coverage…so i think insteadof porting to tata gsm take bsnl 3g as in mahrashtra its best affordable 3g and calling tariffs lower than tata CDMA…but decision lies with you

    • Nupur December 20, 2013 9:54 am

      No its not for maharashtra..but why are you using tata cdma bcuz there tariffs are costlier than gsm ones..i mean if u c for maharashtra sector….tata giving for Rs209 500min calling while Reliance CDMA giving in Rs197 1000min calling….in gsm if u go for BSNL 135rs 350min while 395rs 1200min with validity of 3 months….so there is no sense of taking tata CDMA instead if u want CDMA nly port to reliance CDMA and for gsm u can go with BSNL

  • Esmail December 19, 2013 3:48 pm

    At this point when there is a decline in the demand for CDMA spectrum, where TRAI was of the opinion that there should be no further auction of airwaves in 800 MHz band in Jan 2014 along with 900 and 1800MHz band, Dot has requested TRAI to give recommendation for base price of spectrum, and it is expected to be much less than the 900 MHz band due to difference in demand of GSM and CDMA services. At this point Reliance can act as an opportunist and bid for 5MHz pan India spectrum in 800MHz at base price due to lack of competition. This spectrum will be technologically neutral and liberalized so Reliance can use it to offer FD-LTE for both CDMA as well as GSM platforms. In CDMA it currently has voice, 1x and EVDO RevA services wrote in GSM it has voice, edge and wcdma services, the FD-LTE on 800 MHz can be used to supliment both GSM and CDMA data offerings. The benefit of making this move would be that 800 MHz band has similar coverage and inside building penetration power as 700 MHz band but it’s base price will be 1/4 of that of 700MHz band so the company will save on cash and even need to set up lesser towers than operators using 2300MHz. Also LTE on 800MHz band is universally used so there is a mature echo system if devices as well. It could work as a double win win situation for Reliance if they think upon this strategy and implement it.

    • Somnath December 19, 2013 8:39 pm

      Absolutely correct. Let’s see. I think the same move can also be taken by MTS.

  • Chinmoy December 19, 2013 12:19 am

    thanks for the information Sanjay . Now I could realize why all of a sudden Tata DoCoMo CDMA service become very bad . In most of the places I am getting automatic roaming to MTS .

  • aashu December 18, 2013 4:32 pm

    Are they going to close their service in up west

    • Lalit December 19, 2013 9:38 am

      They were not closing at UP West. Believe that in Dehradun, they moved the subscribers onto ICR. All STV’s are applicable

  • Ajmal Khalid December 18, 2013 1:43 pm

    Whats about landline,mobile ,data card/.?when they will close

    • Lalit December 19, 2013 9:43 am

      Landline/ Data Card, there is no impact. In Mobile believe company is having tie-up with MTS & Reliance for Intra-circle roaming. Ideally we dont see any impact of coverage

  • Adil December 18, 2013 1:18 pm

    If docomo had used the excess spectrum for lte service out would had been better with super coverage

    • Esmail December 18, 2013 2:00 pm

      The excess spectrum that tata is surrendering was not liberalized spectrum, it was licensed only for the purpose of providing CDMA services, only spectrum obtained through auctions after 2012 is liberalized to offer any technology including LTE. The decision to surrender spectrum shows that tata is headed for a serious merger, possibly with MTS and since the merged entity would have to pay market price for any spectrum held beyond the startup 2.5MHz tata has surrendered it, MTS already has 3.75 MHz in all of its new circles so together they would own 6.25MHz of spectrum in those circles out of which 1.25MHz can be used for voice and 1.25MHz for EVDO Rev.A while the remaining can be used for EVDO RevB and LTE. That’s the only strategy I can think of logically for both the companies to survive in the GSM dominated market, DOCOMO can quit the joint venture and Systema can pump in the cash for tata to keep the joint venture floating.

      • Rama December 18, 2013 10:08 pm

        or is it possible that tata would have surrendered the excess spectrum so that it could entitle itself to a lower SUC.plus any kind of merger between tata and mts would only result in a high SUC for the merged entity unless even mts is ready to surrender spectrum.
        Disclaimer:-some part or even my entire comment may be wrong because i am not that good at telecom.

  • SS December 18, 2013 1:01 pm

    Indian telcos are totally ignorant about cdma services as they think people like gsm and stick to it but it was reliance cdma headed by mukesh ambani that made every family to own a lg-reliance co branded cdma phone. Anil took over and spoiled the entire company.

    Right now, tata docomo is headed by idiots who have already caused much damage to the company and now its nearing end.

    Like verizon in usa, i consider mts only cdma operator who can make cdma popular like gsm. Hope they soon get a pan india license.

    • Adil December 18, 2013 1:15 pm

      If docomo had used the excess spectrum for lte service out would had been better with super coverage

      • SS December 18, 2013 1:58 pm

        This spectrum was not technologically neutral hence lte couldn’t be used.

        • adil December 18, 2013 6:25 pm

          Even after unified license they can’t provide LTE ?

          • SS December 18, 2013 8:13 pm

            If they had got unified license on 850 mhz band, they wouldn’t have used it for lte as no device uses 850 mhz for lte.

    • Lalit December 19, 2013 9:51 am

      Yes believe that Anil have spoiled the businees of Reliance. But Reliance and TATA Indicom cannot beat AVI even if they join hands together. CDMA failed because of multiple reasons. 1. Un availability of wide range of handsets 2. Companies providing the handset with lock 3. Minimum handset price in CDMA is Rs.1200+ and in GSM, handset starts at Rs.800 4. Companies promoted the brand as Home Product (Customer making calls on same network) and many more. Who wakes this world up and inform the customers that CDMA is better than GSM (Benefits of CDMA : 1. Supremacy in security 2. Wide coverage area (800 MHZ) 3. Reliable network 4. Easy switching and more)