The telecom regulator, TRAI has asked the government to put on hold all new licences for mobile telephony services till it issues recommendations on spectrum and pricing. This means players like AT&T, Hindujas, Datacoma and Moser Baer seeking entry into the field will have to wait further.
However, the TRAI has clarified that the DoT could issue more licences on directions of the courts.
The government has so far issued 281 licences for the country's 22 telecoms zones which works out to 14 licenses per zone.
The government is also seeking the regulator's views on auctioning spectrum for 2G mobile standard instead of giving licensees entitlement for spectrum as per current practice. The bidding process initiation for 3G licences is also awaited.
The regulator is in the process of putting together a comprehensive list of recommendations on various issues such as a cap on the number of service providers, allocation and sharing of spectrum and pricing.
Meanwhile, TRAI's recommendations will put back the plans of 343 applicants who have submitted applications between 26 September and 1 October 2007.