The TDSAT order stated that the GSM operators don’t have rights beyond 6.2MHz, in the same breadth TDSAT has termed the interim subs criteria as “reasonable” and even questioned the need to give additional licenses and hinted at relaxed M&A rules. Given that allotted spectrum is unlikely to be taken back, worst case involves payment of a one-time fee, which given upcoming elections and legal challenges carries implementation risk.

TDSAT, in the same order has also questioned the need to allocate new licenses given existing high competition, spectrum scarcity and low spectrum allotment /operator. It has therefore hinted to the DoT for relaxed M&A norms to achieve required spectrum efficiency.

We feel that the TDSAT Order is a Non-Event as it is too little and Too Late to have any significant impact on the Telcos. However, sufficient precautions will be taken during 3G auction unless we get another Minister like A. Raja who will behave as though it is his grandfather’s India.