New Delhi: The North East, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir will have another mobile operator soon, with the government allotting CDMA spectrum to Tata Teleservices in these three circles. The company is reported to be set to roll out services in about six to nine months.
Russian telecom company Sistema also received radio frequency for the same areas. These areas are not on the favourite list of a number of telecom companies, on account of tough geographical terrain, and security concerns. At present, the four operators offering GSM services in these three states, Reliance, BSNL, Airtel and Aircel, boast a combined subscriber base of around 7 million across these three Circles.
The landmark of the spectrum allocation for Tata Teleservices is that it now becomes a pan-India operator, having a presence across all 22 circles across the country. Only Bharti Airtel and Reliance have a similar national footprint, of which Reliance was the only CDMA operator with the distinction.
Operators such as Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Aircel have received licences, but are awaiting spectrum allocation before they can become pan-India operators. With urban markets starting to saturate, telecommunications companies are now looking at the C-circle states to expand their markets.
Tatas are also awaiting spectrum for launching GSM services. Public sector telecom giant BSNL has been given the permission to launch CDMA mobile services across the country.