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DoT amends telecom licence norms to ease spectrum caps for operators

June 01, 2018

In a bid to facilitate ongoing consolidation in the sector, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has amended telecom licence norms to allow higher spectrum holding by an individual mobile operator..

With this amendment, the DoT has removed the limitation on any telecom operator holding more than 50 per cent in a spectrum band above 1,000 MHz frequency used for transmitting mobile signals.

As per the new norms, telecom operators can hold up to 35 per cent of total spectrum allocated in a service, up from 25 per cent. However, an operator cannot hold more than 50 per cent radiowaves in a service area in premium bands below 1 GHz - 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz band.

The move facilitates merger of Idea and Vodafone India whose combined holding, was breaching spectrum caps in 900 MHz band across five telecom circles - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (West). Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited's purchase of Reliance Communications’ spectrum was also breaching earlier permissible levels.


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