TRAI's recommendations on 800 MHz unfair and discriminatory: SSTL

SSTL describes TRAI's recommendations on the 800 MHz spectrum band as unfair and discriminatory, and calls for providing a level playing field to India's only CDMA-exclusive operator.

By Kul Bhushan Published Date
25 - Oct - 2013
| Last Updated
25 - Oct - 2013
TRAI's recommendations on 800 MHz unfair and discriminatory: SSTL

Sistema Shyam Tele-Services Ltd (SSTL), which operates in the country under the brand name MTS India, has criticised the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the 800 MHz spectrum band, used by CDMA operators.

“SSTL has consistently maintained that it does not agree with the recommendations of TRAI specific to the 800 MHz spectrum band. The said recommendations have effectively blocked SSTL’s future growth path in India both in terms of expanding within its existing 9 circles and to other circles,” says the company in a statement.

Describing the recommendations “ unfair and discriminatory”, SSTL says the regulator has failed to deliver any roadmap for the CDMA operator to acquire additional spectrum within 800 MHz. “It... goes goes against the spirit of providing a level playing field to India’s only pure play CDMA operator,” adds the statement.

According to the CDMA operator, the teleocm regulator should stimulate operators to upgrade their networks to next generation mobile networks like 3G and LTE.

“However the recent TRAI recommendations favor the incumbents running 2G networks. For TRAI to suggest carving out EGSM band from 800 MHz and open it for use for old GSM 2G networks clearly reflects this thinking.”

“SSTL has always demonstrated its willing and readiness to upgrade its CDMA network to the next generation (3G, LTE) network. TRAI, however has persistently rejected all such proposals. Yesterday, SSTL successfully launched its 3GPlus service based on EVDO Rev B phase II technology, this again is the latest testament of Company’s commitment to its customers.”

SSTL's statement comes shortly after the operator received the third block of spectrum in the 800 MHz spectrum from the Department of Telecom. The allotment paved way for the operator to offer next-generation CDMA REV B Phase II telecom services.

MTS had bagged the slots of 1.25 Mhz each in 800 MHz band, used for providing CDMA services, for eight circles in the March auction for Rs 3,639 crore. The operator will be rolling out 3GPlus Network across all 9 circles – Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.