Indian operators clash over CDMA frequencies

Vodafone India has asserted its position that the 800MHz frequencies used for CDMA technology in the market would be better utilised for GSM services.

Several Indian operators have expressed their support for this stance, including Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular.

Due to low interest among operators in providing services using CDMA, Vodafone has also opposed refarming the 900MHz band, arguing instead that operators could simply use the 800MHz band for GSM instead. 

Bharti Airtel has also expressed reservations about refarming the 900MHz band, claiming that the process would be redundant if instead TRAI auctioned spectrum in the extended GSM (E-GSM) bands. According to Airtel, this would “lead to more efficient utilisation of spectrum in 800 MHz and maximisation of overall revenue for the Exchequer in the long run.”

Idea Cellular also believes that the 800MHz band must be better utilised, arguing that it should be reconfigured and offered in conjunction with the E-GSM band. For its part, Vodafone has claimed that for the 900MHz band to be auctioned, it must be harmonised with 800MHz.

An unsurprising voice of dissent is that of Reliance, which uses CDMA spectrum. The operator supports the current government stance of auctioning off the 900MHz band once the existing GSM licences that use the frequency expire.


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