The ongoing spectrum battle has reached a new pinnacle with the countries biggest operators Airtel and Vodafone battling out with Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for not facilitating the extension. The spectrum was won by the operators way back in February but still has not been allocated to the operators causing a delay of more than six month. The licence is set to expire next month.
It is believed the telcos are contemplating moving court seeking a one year extension in their 20 year licence contract, apart from seeking compensation from DoT in lieu of interest on the amount they paid to the government post the auction of spectrum.
How will it affect the customers?
Although this entire ordeal will financially burden the telcos it is the end customers who have to bear the wrath of this lapse. Both these operators have a huge subscribers base of nearly 60% in Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi and they would need an additional 6-12 months to setup the equipments after the allocation of the spectrum. Airtel also needs to setup the additional spectrum it obtained in the 900 Mhz band. This issue will result in difficulties in connection of the calls and make way for higher rate of call drops. It wont be a surprise if Airtel and Vodafone subscribers experience extreme connectivity issues till this problem gets sorted out.