Vodafone’s position that 800 MHz frequencies currently in use by CDMA operators should be reallocated for GSM services has received support from other Indian operators, according to the Economic Times.
Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular have both come out in support of their rival. The operators have been responding to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) consultation document on “Valuation & Reserve Price of Spectrum”.
Vodafone has also expressed its opposition to refarming the 900 MHz band, suggesting instead operators should move into the 800 MHz band where there is a declining interest in offering CDMA-based services.
Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel has argued that an auction of frequencies in the extended GSM (E-GSM) band would remove the necessity of refarming the core 900 MHz band.
Adopting the E-GSM band “would lead to more efficient utilisation of spectrum in 800 MHz and maximisation of overall revenue for the Exchequer in the long run,” it said.
Meanwhile, Idea said Trai should reconfigure spectrum in the 800 MHz band and offer it alongside the E-GSM band.
Vodafone has also argued that a mooted auction of 900 MHz should only take place if the band was harmonised with 800 MHz.
Unsurprisingly, CDMA-based operators including Reliance take a different line. It has argued that an auction of the 900 MHz used by GSM operators should take place, which is consistent with the current government stance in favour of selling off 900 MHz once the licences of existing operators expire.