The move comes as a major boost to the mobile industry, which is adding as many as 5 million subscribers per month.
While the total spectrum was capped at 10 Mhz for GSM and 5 Mhz for CDMA players, it has now been raised to 15 Mhz for GSM and 7.5 Mhz for CDMA for 21 lakh subscribers each.
According to the new criteria, a GSM operator will get spectrum beyond 10 Mhz in two tranches from 10 Mhz to 12.4 Mhz (when it crosses 10 lakh subscribers) and 12.4 Mhz to 15 Mhz (when it crosses 16 lakh). The CDMA operator will get beyond 5 Mhz to 6.25 Mhz and then to 7.25 Mhz.
The new criteria comes into effect immediately. It has, however, not taken into account the demand of CDMA operators that equal spectrum be allotted to GSM and CDMA operators for the same number of subscribers.
For Delhi and Mumbai, while a GSM operator could get only 10 Mhz for 10 lakh subscribers, now it can claim a total of 15 Mhz for 21 lakh subscribers.