Asia Bizz: The apex decision making body of the Indian telecom ministry, the Telecom Commission, has decided to allow the mobile phone companies to share spectrum. But the facility has been limited to the 2G spectrum only.
The second generation (2G) spectrum is widely used for vanilla voice services. This means that the telecom companies cannot share the 3G spectrum.
Earlier, telecom companies like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel and Idea Cellular had taken the Indian government to court after the companies were asked to terminate their 3G roaming deals. With this move, the companies had hopes that it would put an end to the controversy.
The companies have signed up 3G customers across the country on the bilateral roaming agreements which allows these firms to use each other’s air waves to offer high end data services even in the regions where the 3G spectrum is not available. The operators state they were not aware of the TC decision as the government did not announce it. The new condition to the sharing includes only the operators which have airwaves in a particular region can share it. And two companies can share air waves only if their combined holdings do not exceed more than the prescribed in the M&A norms.