DoT to make 800MHz price recommendations, rules out e-GSM for now

4 Nov 2014

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is set to make a decision on the pricing of the 800MHz band in time for the next meeting of the Telecom Commission on 7 November, the Economic Times writes. The DoT’s recommendation will not take into consideration the potential use of 800MHz spectrum for an extended GSM (e-GSM) band, however. The 800MHz band is currently used by CDMA providers, and its erosion to provide additional airwaves for GSM operators via the proposed e-GSM band has been fiercely opposed by CDMA and dual-technology players. Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) have argued that the implementation of the e-GSM band would undermine their business, as they have invested billions of rupees in rolling out CDMA networks in the 800MHz band. Further complicating the issue, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also suggested a substantial hike in the price for 800MHz frequencies on the basis that the spectrum could be used for high-speed data services.