Crucial meeting on telecom frequencies Friday

Thursday, 29 November 2007, 11:59 Hrs
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New Delhi: An expert panel of the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) is scheduled to meet with telecom operators here Friday, ahead of giving its recommendations on how to allot scarce frequencies to service providers.

Senior officials of DoT officials and the Telecommunications Engineering Centre (TEC), the technical arm of the DoT, are also expected to attend this crucial meeting as the ministry tries to resolve the issue, DoT officials said.

The allocation of frequency or spectrum has been a raging controversy in the industry, dividing the telecom operators between those who offer their services based on CDMA or GSM technologies.

Friday's meeting also comes ahead of a hearing Dec 12 by an appellate body of the telecom industry, where the matter is sub-judice.

Communications and IT Minister A. Raja has already said that he was awaiting the recommendations of the expert panel to resolve the matter amicably among the operators.

"The interaction is going on. After the meeting (of the review committee) with the (DoT) secretary, I will meet the operators, if necessary," he said Tuesday.

Bharti Airtel, the largest private sector mobile services company in terms of subscriber base and which offers its services based on GSM technology, has been voicing strong protest on TEC's earlier allocation criteria.

This apart, leading CDMA service operator Reliance Communications' chief Anil Ambani has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention into the matter.

The matter has also been enjoined with the issue of granting additional licences for telecom services - for which 575 applications have been received by the DOT from 45 companies - since it will entail further apportionment of the spectrum.
Source: IANS
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