Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited will not participate in CDMA spectrum auction
Telecom operator Sistem Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL), which operates in India under MTS, will not be participating in the upcoming spectrum auctions due to high reserve price and other issues which are still to be resolved by the department of telecommunications in March 2013, reports Press Trust of India. SSTL maintained that the pricing of 800Mhz spectrum at Rs 3,646 crore per MHz, is way out of line and does not merit a strong business case for buying additional spectrum in the upcoming auction. SSTL was the only applicant in the 800 MHz band, has secured spectrum in eight telecom circles in the 800 MHz band for Rs 3,639 crore in the March 2013 auctions and there were no participants in the November 2012 CDMA spectrum auctions. Sistema argues that since it was sole bidder during the CDMA auction and there is no other successful operator for rearrangement of frequencies, the DoT will have to rearrange or reassign the frequency to make the spectrum allotted to SSTL contiguous. SSTL also contends that allocation of spectrum in non-contiguous manner reduces the efficiency of spectrum and poses hindrance to the adoption of latest technologies.The telecom tribunal TDSAT has admitted the petition and issued notice to DoT. The matter is listed for hearing on February 18.
Union minister for telecom Ravi Shankar Prasad chided telecom operators and said that lack of spectrum was no excuse for call drops, according to a Press Trust of India report. “Private telecom operators need to ponder on this call drop. All this is because lack of spectrum, I’m sorry. I don’t buy this,” Prasad said at a telecom event and added that “there is need for better monitoring of entire system” to address the call drop problem. Meanwhile, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) director general Rajan S Mathews countered that it is a proven fact that telecom networks in India are very loaded compared to networks in other countries. Mathews also added that hurdles posed by local government bodies to installing mobile towers citing radiation issues is another reason for call drops.