COAI urges Trai not to treat 2300, 2500 MHz bands as one

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New Delhi | Published: December 18, 2015 12:40:23 AM

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), representing GSM-based telecom companies, has urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India...

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), representing GSM-based telecom companies, has urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) not to treat the 2300 megahertz (MHz) and 2500 MHz bands as one band to calculate the spectrum-holding caps on telcos, as it would lead to monopoly and kill competition.

The COAI, in a letter to Trai chairman R S Sharma on Thursday, has argued that the “two bands have a completely different device and ecosystem and therefore, treating 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz as one band for intra-band cap may result in one operator acquiring a disproportionate amount of spectrum in one of the bands, either in the 2300 MHz or 2500 MHz band, which will create one operator’s monopoly over that particular spectrum band.”

Currently, telecom companies cannot hold more than 50% spectrum in a particular frequency band in a telecom service area, and not more than 25% of the total spectrum allocated across all bands in that particular telecom service area.

“We recommend that the present intra-band spectrum caps of 50% in a particular band should be continued and extended to spectrum in 700 MHz band, and 2500 MHz band, in larger interest of consumers, competition and the industry,” the COAI wrote to the Trai chairman.

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