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TDSAT asks DoT to appear on Monday on RCom plea

The Supreme Court has said in its order that the spectrum should be auctioned on the market price

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Telecom tribunal today asked to appear before it on Monday, after hearing a plea by Reliance Communication alleging discrimination against existing CDMA operators in the proposed auction as they can bid only for one block.

has submitted that as per the DoT's circular of July 3 this year, the government would allot two blocks of 1.25 Mhz to existing GSM operators in the proposed auction, while the CDMA can bid for one only.

"This approach of respondent No 1 (Government of India) is discriminatory and leads to non-level playing field among the similarly placed UAS licensees," said RCom in its plea.

The matter was placed before a TDSAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha, which issued notice to DoT after finding that no one had appeared from the government's side.

In its petition, RCom has made sectoral regulator TRAI also a party.

According to RCom, with only one block of 1.25 Mhz in 800 Mhz band the CDMA operators "will not be able to get even the license mandated 5Mhz of spectrum in various circles.

"While the existing GSM operators can get additional 2.5 Mhz spectrum through auction and go even beyond the license mandated quantity of 6.2 Mhz in some of the circles," said RCom in its petition.

The government is gearing up for auction after the February 2, 2012 order of the cancelling license issued by DoT.

The Supreme Court has said in its order that the spectrum should be auctioned on the market price.

RCom submitted that it was not against the auction but the guidelines issued by the DoT for auction should be revised to allow a level-playing field between the existing GSM and CDMA operators.

It has requested TDSAT to declare clause related to block allocations as "arbitrary and discriminatory in nature and quash them".

"Direct DoT to allow the existing operators like RCom a also to have access to the same 2 blocks of 1.25 Mhz each in 800 Mhz CDMA band as has been allowed to the existing GSM operators in 1800 Mhz," said RCom in its prayer.

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