GSM mobile operators' body COAI has said that the 800 MHz band, used for CDMA services, be "reconfigured" as EGSM 900 Mhz band for better utilisation of radiowaves and higher auction revenues.
COAI, which represents GSM players like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, said: "Given the higher demand for 900 MHz, the reconfiguration of the available 800 Mhz spectrum will not only increase the availability of spectrum in 900 MHz band but will also lead to more efficient use of spectrum."
In a letter to DoT, it also stated that auctioning 800 MHz as EGSM will be a "win-win for all stakeholders" as it provides equal opportunity to all to acquire spectrum in 900 MHz, aids in the discovery of market price for 900 MHz while "ensuring continuity of services to CDMA users".
The next round of spectrum auction is expected to take place in February. "The true value of spectrum in 800 MHz band will be recognised when and only when it is auctioned as EGSM 900 MHz," COAI said. The body said there will be no impact on the existing CDMA operations as they can continue providing the services with the allocated spectrum.
CDMA services in the country are provided in 800 Mhz band by Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications and Sistema. COAI also said that in case DoT decides not to go ahead with EGSM band, the allocations to the existing operators in 800 MHz band should be reshuffled to create at least one block of contiguous 5 MHz spectrum and this spectrum should also be included in the forthcoming auction.