COAI asks DoT to reconfigure 1800MHz band into contiguous blocks

COAI asks DoT to reconfigure 1800MHz band into contiguous blocks
GSM industry body COAI has asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to allow reconfiguration of airwaves in the 1800MHz band in order to create contiguous blocks of spectrum.

In a letter to telecom secretary MF Farooqui, COAI said the "proposal should be discussed and taken forward in a timely manner before the assignments of the auctioned spectrum are made."

The industry body is of the view that operators require contiguous spectrum for offering data services. "Now with unified licence, operators are allowed to offer 2G, 3G or 4G services, so contiguous spectrum is required," COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews told PTI.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has listed out some circles where the exercise could be undertaken on priority basis.

(Also see: COAI calls BSNL, MTNL connection mandate for government staff 'anti-competitive')

The circles include Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, UP (West), UP (East), Rajasthan, HP and J&K.

"We hope that, as a result of the harmonisation exercise, all spectrum in the band will be made available over complete service area where currently it is allocated for partial service area," the COAI letter said.

It added the operators would need 3-6 months to reconfigure their networks after getting the approval from DoT.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries, has also asked DoT to reconfigure airwave frequencies allotted in seven blocks in the northeast to help the company to deploy 4G technology efficiently.

(Also see: COAI hits back at 'illogical' Reliance Jio)

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