The government has decided to allocate Tata Teleservices the initial 4.4 MHz spectrum for the Delhi telecom circle.
This means the company can now start operations in the lucrative circle, one of the biggest, in terms of revenue.
The empowered group of ministers on telecom, in its meeting yesterday, said the operator should be allotted the initial 4.4 MHz spectrum for the Delhi service area, as it had already paid the requisite fee in 2008.
However, Tata Teleservices would get the spectrum only after the 2G spectrum auctions next year, provided the spectrum is available with the government after the auction.
Tata Teleservices would not need to pay any additional amount, as this would not be re-priced prospectively.
So far, the company has been unsuccessful in bagging start-up spectrum in the Delhi telecom circle, though it had the letter of intent from the telecom department, as well as favourable rulings from the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
Last year, TDSAT had asked the Department of Telecommunications to allot 2G start-up spectrum of 4.4 MHz to Tata Teleservices. The company has also filed two petitions before TDSAT, seeking additional spectrum of 1.8 MHz before the proposed auction. It has also sought initial spectrum of 4.4 MHz in Delhi and across 39 districts in nine telecom circles.
On October 19, 2007, Tata Teleservices became the first dual technology operator to apply for GSM spectrum. Other dual technology telecom players include Reliance Communications, HFCL and Shyam Telelink. Tata Teleservices has been involved in a tussle with the government, after the government’s decision to improve the operations of entrants that had already been awarded start-up spectrum, additional airwaves would first be made available to them.