Thomas K Thomas

New Delhi, Aug. 9

Rajasthan based Shyam Telecom has become the third operator in recent months to apply for spectrum for offering GSM based services despite having a full-fledged CDMA based operations. Shyam Telecom has applied to the Department of Telecom for fresh spectrum in the GSM band.

Earlier, Reliance Communication and Punjab based HFCL had applied for GSM spectrum. This leaves Tata Teleservices as the only operator to stick with CDMA technology in the country. State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has also decided to roll out fixed wireless telephone services using GSM technology even though it was using the CDMA technology for that service until now.

Qualcomm row

Industry sources pointed out that the move from the three CDMA players is a fall out of the feud between Qualcomm and the Indian CDMA operators over reduction of royalty. Mr Anil Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Communications, while announcing the first quarter results had said on record that Qualcomm was not doing enough to create the right ecosystem for CDMA operators. DoT is in the process of releasing 45 Mhz of spectrum, which at present is occupied by the defence forces, by the end of the year. The CDMA operators are lining up along with the GSM operators to get a pie of the radio frequency.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 10, 2006)
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