Idea offers spectrum swap to avoid mobile services disruption

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on November 09, 2014

Idea Cellular has offered to swap spectrum frequencies, which it won in February, with Airtel and Vodafone so as to help avoid disruption in mobile services in Delhi.

Telecom regulator TRAI in mid-October had written to the Department of Telecom saying that mobile services in the national capital may be disrupted partially from December due to delays in the allocation of frequencies to Airtel and Vodafone, which may cause inconvenience to about 20 million subscribers.

The licences of Airtel and Vodafone are expiring in Delhi on November 29.

In February, whereas Idea won 5 Mhz of frequency spot in the 900 Mhz band, the other two operators lost a part of spectrum in this band. The spectrum won by Idea has to be freed by the two telecom operators.

In a letter to DoT, Idea has said that it “is prepared to take a central block of 896.1—901.1 Mhz block instead of currently earmarked 890.1—895.1 Mhz block, so that existing operators do not have any change of frequency in the 900 Mhz band“.

Although Airtel and Vodafone had bought spectrum afresh in February, they were allotted new frequencies only on October 10. These operators have said that it will take few weeks to adjust their networks as per the new frequency spot.

However, the company has said that DoT should not delay allocation of 5Mhz spectrum won by it in Delhi for Rs 3,705 crore. It paid upfront payment of Rs 926.2 crore on March 3.

Idea said it is ready to launch 3G service in Delhi and has committed significant capital expenditure for it.

“Any delay in spectrum beyond 30.11.2014, would result in launch of Idea services on the said 900 Mhz spectrum by an equivalent period and it totally unacceptable,” Idea said.

The company said that it is incurring interest cost of Rs 1.02 crore every day on the investment made.

Idea Cellular said it is binding on DoT to issue spectrum in time and the department will have to indemnify in case of any loss cause to the company due to the government body not fulfilling its commitment.

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Published on November 09, 2014
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