Expect mobile tariff war in Delhi as Tata Docomo gets 4.4 Mhz spectrum in 1800 MHz band

Telecom Lead India: Expect GSM mobile tariff war in Delhi next year as Tata Docomo will launch GSM services in the capital city.

Since Tata Docomo and Uninor, two top GSM operators, who had unleashed special schemes earlier, did not have presence in Delhi, mobile users in the capital city never enjoyed the full benefit of mobile tariff wars.

TTSL has presence in Delhi through its CDMA network.

As the Empowered Group of Ministers has decided to allocate initial 4.4 Mhz spectrum to Tata Teleservices for the Delhi telecom circle, Tata Docomo will be able to launch GSM services in Delhi next year.

The intensity of mobile tariff battle, however, will depend on the result of the spectrum auction this year. If there is a consolidation after the spectrum auction, it will result into less number of operators in Delhi and other circles.

Meanwhile, Tata Docomo is leading the Indian telecom market based on net addition of mobile users in August 2012. Tata Docomo has added 8.16 lakh users in August when the country’s total wireless subscriber base decreased from 913.49 million in July 2012 to 908.36 million in August 2012, down 0.56 percent.

Recently, TRAI said the decline in wireless users is due to large scale disconnections by some of the service providers. The share of urban wireless subscribers has decreased from 63.37 percent to 63.32 percent, while share of rural wireless subscribers has increased from 36.63 percent to 36.68 percent.

Tata Teleservices, which has paid the fee in 2008, will launch GSM services in the 1800 MHz band next year. The entry of Tata Docomo will prompt several key telecom operators to look for revision in their mobile pricing.

The telecom operator will be allotted the spectrum post second generation (2G) auction next year, if the quantum is available with the government post auction, but not need to pay extra as this would not be repriced even prospectively.

TTSL will be the first cellular operator company in India to get spectrum in this band without either participating in the auction or paying the auction-determined price.

The decision was taken by The Empowered Group of Ministers, led by Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Recently, TelecomLead.com reported that Uninor is readying for next round of mobile tariff war. The struggling mobile service provider has launched free local calls on Sundays in Chennai. The free unlimited local calls (Uninor to Uninor) are applicable to all existing / new Uninor customers. The offer is valid on every Sunday starting from July 22nd to August 26th 2012.

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