Tata Teleservices opposes DoT's plan to auction 3G spectrum to foriegn players

As per Economic times - "Tata Teleservices has opposed communication and IT minister Dayanidhi Maran’s plans of allowing foreign players to bid for 3G spectrum and said that this would lead to further scarcity of radio resources and hamper the growth of existing operators. The company which offers CDMA-based telecom services, has also alleged that the Department of Telecom (DoT) was ‘completely disregarding the recommendations of telecom regulator Trai for facilitating the progress of existing GSM and CDMA operators from 2G to 3G services’. The interests of existing telecom licence holders who have done so much to make India the fastest telecom market in the world must be protected and a level-playing field provided to them,” the company said. The company has pointed out that at present, there was shortage of 2G spectrum, and therefore the spectrum-efficient 3G network would primarily be used to provide voice services in the beginning. “The logical policy, therefore, has to be allow the entry of 2G companies into 3G to further develop their markets and to grow by getting more spectrum and by using their existing infrastructure, instead there is a move to cap the growth of the existing players completely disregarding the recommendations made by Trai...,” the company said."
Additionally, Tata Teleservices has also objected the proposals of the internal committee formed by DoT to study the 3G spectrum pricing and allocation recommendations of Trai. This committee has suggested that four telecom companies be given 3G spectrum in the 2.1 Mhz frequency, through a bidding process, while adding that if state-owned BSNL and MTNL did not figure among the top four in the auction, then the PSUs must be given 3G spectrum provided they match the price of the second highest bidder. Tata Teleservices has pointed out that Trai had recommended that only existing players be allowed to bid for spectrum in 2.1 Ghz, and that too for a quantum of 5 Mhz each. “Inviting external entities with blocks of 10 Mhz of spectrum, will not only drive the costs up, but will also limit the number of operators. Then existing licensees will be forced to conduct their operations in sub-optimal fashion with sporadic and minute allocations of as little as 1.25 Mhz at a time. The reasons for such unfair treatment must be divulged and such unfairness is clearly not going to be accepted by the industry,” the company added. On the proposal for a quota for BSNL and MTNL, Tata Teleservices said that such treatment, in addition to being against the recommendations of Trai, would also not offer a level-playing field between private and state-owned players. It has also added that BSNL and MTNL were no longer the sole custodians of public interest as the government itself had allowed civil servants and PSUs to embrace the services of private telecom service providers.

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