"We have sought legal opinion on TDSAT judgement. Law officers have been appointed recently so we should get their views shortly. Our view has not changed, but further action will depend on legal opinion," a DoT official said.
While DoT had termed 3G spectrum sharing pacts as illegal and asked operators to terminate them, telecom tribunal TDSAT in its April 29 order said that these pacts were not in violation of licence agreement.
The DoT has now sought legal opinion on such pacts. DoT sources said that under old licensing regime, there was restriction on use of certain technology and hence licences of companies which won 3G spectrum were tuned for 3G services only in those areas where they acquired spectrum through auction.
They, however, added that DoT has discussed internally allowing 3G spectrum sharing for new Unified Licence (UL) holder because the latest permit provides for deployment of any technology in spectrum purchased through auction.
"Once incumbent players migrate to UL they will enjoy similar benefits as all spectrum under new permit will be liberalised (free to use any technology) but we have to first see recommendation of Trai," an official said.
Airtel, Vodafone and Idea won 3G spectrum in 2010 auction under old permits called Unified Access Service License.
Airtel won 3G spectrum in 13 out of 22 telecom service area for Rs. 12,295.46, Vodafone in nine for Rs. 11,617.86 and Idea
Cellular in 11 circles for Rs. 5,768.59 crore. The trio are providing 3G services across country except in Odisha circles where none of them hold spectrum for the same.