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Rediff.com  » Business » Tata slams RCom as dual tech fracas hots up

Tata slams RCom as dual tech fracas hots up

Last updated on: February 14, 2011 19:49 IST

Tata slams RCom as dual tech fracas hots up

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Tata Teleservices said on Monday that it is unfair and incorrect to compare the company with dual technology operators like RCom and others as they had applied and got the approval even before the policy came into effect.

TTSL's statement came in response to RCom's claim that it had to wait since February 2006 for more than 18 months to get the dual technology (GSM and CDMA) licence.

RCom had said on Sunday that its application was "on identical terms and payment of identical fees as the three other companies -- Ratan Tata group's Tata Teleservices,

Himachal Futuristic Communications and Shyam Telecom (now known as Sistema) -- and there is nothing special or untoward in the same."

TTSL, however, said that it "was the only operator, amongst those named above, to apply for Dual-Technology Licence after the October 19, 2007 announcement by the DoT and it is hence unfair and incorrect to compare TTSL with the other applicants, who had applied before the policy was announced."

"It is indeed special and intriguing that RCom and two other operators applied and got DoT approval even before the policy was announced," it added.

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Image: Inset, Ratan Tata.

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TTSL said that while RCom was allotted spectrum in all the circles immediately in January 2008, TTSL got DoT approval after 83 days.

"TTSL, even after three years, is still awaiting spectrum allocation in the crucial Delhi Circle and in 39 commercially crucial districts in 9 telecom circles," it said.

The grant of dual technology approval to RCom in October, 2007, has been upheld by the Delhi high court by a judgement in August, 2008, and by the Telecom Tribunal, TDSAT, by an order in March, 2009.

The CAG had pointed out that the DoT favoured RCom in jumping the queue for grant of GSM spectrum ahead of others.

Over the past several weeks, as part of investigations pursuant to the Supreme Court's orders, the CBI is reportedly examining a large number of telecom firms and their officials, from across the entire telecom industry in relation to various matters from 2001 to 2008.

TTSL also clarified that the company and the Tata Group were not family-owned or family-run concerns or owned by Ratan Tata.

"Hence, to refer to them as 'Shri Ratan Tata group's Tata Teleservices Limited' is not appropriate," it added.

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Tata slams RCom as dual tech fracas hots up

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SC moved against TDSAT order on spectrum charges

Tata group firms- Tata Tele Services and Tata Tele Services Maharastra - on Monday challenged the hike in spectrum usage charge in the Supreme Court.

The two companies challenged the order of the sectoral tribunal TDSAT, which has declined to stay DoT's hike in the spectrum charge.

Admitting the plea, a three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice S H Kapadia directed the two firms to deposit 50 per cent of the increased spectrum usage charge demanded by the DoT and to submit a bank guarantee for the rest within a week.

The apex court also issued notice to the DoT and directed it to file a reply.

Besides, the bench directed to tag Tata group firms' appeal with the other telecom operators -- RCom, R Tel, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom (operating in Rajasthan), Idea Cellular and Uninor.

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Tata slams RCom as dual tech fracas hots up

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The operators are challenging DoT's decision to increase the usage charges 3-8 per cent of adjusted gross revenue, depending on quantum of spectrum held by an operator.

Earlier, on January 31, the apex court had directed two Anil Ambani group firms Reliance Communications and Reliance Telecom to deposit 50 per cent of the increased spectrum usage charge demanded by DoT and to submit a bank guarantee for the rest within two weeks.

The DoT had asked the two ADAG group firms to deposit Rs 94 crore (Rs 940 million) for the spectrum charges as per the new rules.

On October 22, the Supreme Court had stayed the TDSAT order upholding a hike in 2G telecom spectrum usage charges, but had asked Bharti, Vodafone and Idea to deposit with it 50 per cent of the proposed increase in fee with the court's registry.

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Uninor told to pay Rs 3.8 crore penalty

The telecom tribunal TDSAT on Monday directed Uninor to pay Rs 3.8 crore (Rs 38 million) to the government as penalty for delay in rolling out services in Mumbai circle, as per its license conditions.

Passing an interim order, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) directed Uninor to pay Rs 3.8 crore, 60 per cent of the penalty imposed by the Department of Telecom, in Mumbai circle.

TDSAT's direction came over a petition filed by Uninor challenging Rs 6.35 crore (Rs 63.5 million) penalty imposed by the DoT on it for not complying with the roll-out obligations.

The DoT on February 1, has issued notice to Uninor directing it to pay the sum penalty within 15 days for failing to roll-out services within stipulated period.

TDSAT's bench headed by its chairman Justice S B Sinha also issued notice to DoT, directing it to file its reply within two weeks and posted the matter for further hearing on March 22, 2011.

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Tata slams RCom as dual tech fracas hots up

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Monday's tribunal order was based on an earlier order passed by it directing Uninor to pay 60 per cent of the penalty imposed on it, as an interim measure.

In January, TDSAT had directed Uninor, to pay 60 per cent of the penalty demanded by DoT in 15 circles for failing to roll-out services within the stipulated time.

It has already paid penalty for four circles under protest.

Out of 22 circles alloted to Uninor, the DoT has imposed 60 per cent penalty on it for delay in rolling out services in twenty circles.

Uninor is a joint venture between reality firm Unitech and telecom firm Telenor of Norway.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has issued notice to Uninor seeking Liquidated Damages (LD) for not rolling out its network in 20 circles within stipulated period of one year.

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Uninor is one of the new operators which was allotted 2G spectrum, or radio waves, by former telecom minister A Raja and is under scanner on eligibility criteria.

DoT had sent notices to several firms which got new 2G licenses bundled with start up spectrum but have not begun offering services in various circles.

As per the conditions of the Unified Access Service License (UASL), the telcos are required to roll-out their networks within one year from the date of allocation of spectrum.

According to the agreement, in case new licencees fail to roll-out services within the stipulated period, DoT shall be entitled to recover LD charges.



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