Concerns have been raised by CDMA lobby group, Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) over TRAI’s recommendations to DoT to explore creation of extended GSM (e-GSM) by using a part of 800 MHz band of spectrum.
800 MHz band is predominantly used by CDMA based mobile operators worldwide. AUSPI argued that using the 800 MHz band for the e-GSM would impact the business of CDMA operators who have invested heavily while rolling out services in the 800 MHz band. DoT is yet to take a call on this matter.
Creation of e-GSM has seen appreciation from the GSM players like Airtel, but has witnessed stiff opposition from the CDMA operators like Reliance communication, Tata Tele-services and MTS.
While DoT has set aside 900 MHz and 1800 MHz for auction in 2015, AUSPI has urged DoT to auction the 800 MHz band in 2015 as proposed by TRAI.
AUSPI has also requested for the reduction of the spectrum pricing of 800 MHz. As of now, TRAI has proposed starting price of 800 MHz at 80% base price of 1800 MHz, which comes to INR 2,685 Crores. The final call on this is yet to be taken.
It will be interesting to see the developments in this space and how the spectrum gets auctioned in 2015, who will emerge the winners and who will lose out. We as subscribers are the biggest stakeholders in the spectrum auction.