Indian state-run operator MTNL has notified the Department of Telecom (DoT) that it is ready to return the entire CDMA spectrum it currently holds if the telecom operator is paid auction-determined price, The Economic Times reports, citing an unnamed government official. "MTNL has offered to surrender entire 800 MHz band spectrum but it wants an auction-determined price for the surrendered frequencies," a source said. Indian telecom regulator TRAI values the CDMA spectrum held by MTNL to over INR 19 billion.
MTNL operates in Delhi and Mumbai where it has 1.2 million CDMA service users. Its total subscriber base reaches 3.4 million.
TRAI earlier said that the DoT should take back MTNL’s CDMA spectrum and auction it. However, MTNL refused to surrender CDMA frequencies claiming that it plans to use these airwaves for provision of 4G services. If MTNL surrenders the CDMA spectrum it currently holds, around 4 blocks of 1.25 MHz each in the 800 MHz spectrum in Delhi and 7 in Mumbai will become available for a possible tender.
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