India's GSM Operators Lose Legal Battle Against CDMA Firms
India's High Court in Delhi has rejected a petition by the GSM network operators to block the government from allowing the incumbent CDMA operators from offering GSM services. The GSM operators had told the court that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was trying to pass-off a second license to each of the CDMA operators for free.
The DoT has already allocated GSM radio spectrum to the existing CDMA operators, Reliance Communications, the Tatas and Russia backed, Shyam-Sistema.
The court's Justice Gita Mittal also required that the GSM operators, along with their trade body, the COAI to pay costs for the legal action. The GSM operators and COAI have leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, but they have not said if they will pursue that option.
Welcoming the decision, S C Khanna the Secretary General of AUSPI, which represents the CDMA industry in India said, “It allows the government policy to be carried out smoothly, and opens up the market for more operators, which ultimately will benefit the consumer.”
According to the Mobile World subscriber database, the country ended the first half of the year with just under 70 million CDMA subscribers, compared to around 212.5 million for GSM networks.