In a move that will affect the CDMA operators in India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) CDMA operators will have to match the highest bid by their GSM counterparts during the forthcoming third generation (3G) spectrum auction.

3G spectrum is vital for providing high-end telecom services such like video conferencing, high-speed internet and audio-video streaming. Since there are less number of players in the CDMA space, the bidding was expected to be less aggressive in this segment compared with the GSM domain where there are already more than double the number of Indian players and some foreign players are also expected to try their luck in the auction.

Keeping this in mind, the telecom regulator has recommended to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that CDMA players should be made to match the highest price paid by GSM operators. This will help ensure that cost of spectrum remains proportional for both the platforms.

Actual cost to both the segments will still be different as both use different technology platforms and have different spectrum requirements. While the successful bidders in GSM domain will get 5 MHz of in the 2.1 GHz, CDMA players will get 1.25 MHz of spectrum in the 800 MHz band. Thus, CDMA players will still end up paying 25% of the highest bidder in GSM segment.