labels: Idea Cellular, Spice Communications
Idea, Spice claim first right for spectrum news
22 December 2007

Mumbai: Aditya Birla Group firm Idea Cellular Ltd and Modi group-owned Spice Telecom have warned the department of telecom against allocation of spectrum to those mobile operators who submitted applications after them without considering their applications.

"We caution the department of telecom (DoT) that no GSM initial spectrum allocation pertaining to application subsequent to ours of 26th June, 2006, for nine service areas can be entertained, until our application along with associated initial spectrum, are first disposed," Idea Cellular said in a letter to telecom secretary D S Mathur.

Spice Telecom also shot off a similar letter to DoT asking it to consider their applications filed in August 2006 for 20 circles first.

Idea and Spice applied for spectrum following DoT's decision to allow dual technology for mobile services, under which Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) became eligible for start-up spectrum in the GSM segment.

RCom deposited the licence fee within a day of DoT changing the policy.

The government said it is also considering issue of letters of intent to other applicants who applied before September 25.

Idea and Spice - both GSM companies, reminded the government of the clause in the unified access service license that "the application shall be decided, so far as practicable, within 30 days of submission of the application and the applicant company shall be informed accordingly".

DoT was bound to issue LoI by 25 July 2006, they pointed out, adding, "In any event, it is now over 500 days from the date of application."

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Idea, Spice claim first right for spectrum