Following Indian regulator, Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT’s), approval of nine telecoms applicants for spectrum allocation in January 2008, the Indian Ministry of Communications and IT has cleared all nine applications and is close to issuing Letters of Intent (LoIs). Telecom Minister, A Raja, has approved the file, and asked the DoT to prepare a priority list for awarding licences. This will pave the way for the roll out of wireless services by the applicants, Datacom Solutions, S Tel, Shyam Telelink, Spice Communications, Swan Telecom, Loop Telecom (a subsidiary of BPL Mobile), Aska Projects, Unitech Builders & Estates and Nahan Properties. The DoT plans to allocate radio frequency in four circles — Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Orissa and Tamil Nadu (including Chennai) — to the new licensees. The companies will be given 4.4MHz frequency blocks in the 1800MHz band for initial operations in each circle. Upon receiving the LoIs, allocation of spectrum is expected within the next six months. The spectrum will be first allotted on a ‘trial basis’. Spice Communications already provides GSM-900 mobile services in two circles.
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