labels: telecom, spice communications
Spice too quits the spectrum challenge; seeks licence for 20 circles news
06 November 2007

Mumbai: Spice Telecom has opted out from the petition filed by GSM association COAI with the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) challenging the telecom department''s award of spectrum for dual-technology use. Instead, the Modi group company has sought licences to start mobile services in 20 circles across the country.

The decision comes after Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani''s criticism of the COAI''s move to challenge the new spectrum norms.

Aircel, Spice Telecom, Idea Cellular, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Essar had moved the TDSAT under the banner of COAI, challenging the department''s new norms on spectrum allocation and allowing usage of dual technology.

Aircel and Spice Telecom have since then withdrawn cases against the DoT.

"We would like to clarify that we have no objection to the issuance of the in-principle approval by department of telecom for cross-over spectrum allotment," Spice Telecom said in a letter to DoT, adding "Our key focus area is issuance of letter of intent to us in respect of our application submitted in August 2006 for 20 circles."

Spice Telecom''s move could further weaken the case of GSM lobby in TDSAT after Aircel refusal to move along with the case.

Communication minister A Raja now claims that COAI had misled the telecom operators, the media and the general public, by their own admission.

Reliance Communications and Tata Indicom had sought to reap the benefit of dual technology immediately after the announcement of the new policy mechanism, prompting COAI to act lest its members are put at a ''disadvantage''.

The licences are technology neutral and they were upheld by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommended to the telecom department.

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Spice too quits the spectrum challenge; seeks licence for 20 circles