DoT to allot start-up spectrum to new players

New Delhi, Jan 29 | Updated: Jan 30 2008, 05:36am hrs
The government will soon ink the telecom license agreement with nine firms that have been issued letters of intent (LoI)earlier this month, followed by allotment of start-up spectrum in some circles.

License agreements are expected to be signed with all the nine LoI holders in the next two days and spectrum would be allotted subsequently, to begin with, in those circles where it is available readily, telecom ministry officials said.

Four firms have got LoIs for pan-India operations while others have got for additional circles. The nine companies are Unitech, Datacom, Shyam Telelink, Loop Telecom, S Tel, Swan Telecom, Spice Telecom, Idea and Tata Teleservices.

Officials said that department of telecom (DoT) is also having consultations with the defence ministry for early release of spectrum so that the same could be allotted to new players to start mobile services. This would intensify competition in the mobile telephony and would lead to fall in tariffs.

A decision has been taken and licence pacts would be signed with all the companies, they said. Although some of the companies have approached telecom tribunal TDSAT and Delhi High Court to stall spectrum distribution, the process has not been stayed so far.