DoT ordered to hand over 2G spectrum in Delhi to TTSL

5 Jul 2011

India’s Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allocate start-up 2G spectrum in the Delhi circle to Tata Teleservices (TTSL) with immediate effect. According to India’s Economic Times, the tribunal has criticised the government’s almost three year delay in handing over the frequencies, after the cellco sought assistance in the matter, having claimed that the regulator had arbitrarily favoured new entrants in the allocation of spectrum in the metro. The cellco filed a petition in December 2010 alleging ‘discrimination and arbitrariness’ against it by the DoT, contending that, despite being the first applicant to apply for GSM spectrum, the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing of the regulator had instead handed spectrum to Reliance Communications (RCOM), Quadrant Televentures (then known as HFCL Infotel) and Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL). Backing up such a claim, the TDSAT noted: ‘In terms of the policy decisions dated 19 October 2007, and 10 January 2008, TTSL having deposited the entire amount of the fees as recommended by the TRAI was entitled to … priority in the matter of allocation of spectrum over Idea, Unitech and others.’ The tribunal meanwhile rejected similar claims to priority allocation of spectrum by Uninor and Idea Cellular, noting that neither was entitled to frequencies simply because they had deposited entry fees prior to TTSL.