New Delhi: A panel of Indian ministers said mobile phone carriers will have to give up their airwave holdings beyond 2.5 mega hertz of spectrum in the superior 900 mega hertz band at the time of their permit renewals, a government source said.

Market leaders Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone's  India unit -- two of the country's oldest carriers -- will be hit the most by the proposed refarming or substituting of their more efficient 900 MHz band airwaves with inferior quality 1800 Mhz band airwaves starting in November 2014.

However, the plan to allow them to retain some of the spectrum may give carriers some relief, compared with an earlier proposal to replace all their holdings.

(Agencies)

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