New Delhi: GSM industry body COAI has written to Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is heading the EGoM on telecom, saying guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunications for auction of airwaves are discriminatory and erroneous in nature.
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) in the letter on Wednesday objected to the requirement for liberalizing airwaves being used by telecom operators for wireless telecom services and excluding airwaves frequency in 800 Mhz band, that are currently being used for CDMA services, from the clause.
DoT in point number 6 of 'Guidelines for Auction and Allotment of Spectrum in 1800 Mhz and 800 Mhz bands' has said "service providers may be allowed to convert their existing 1800 Mhz spectrum to liberalized spectrum for a period of 20 years on payment of auctioned determined price."‘
On this, COAI said "the exclusion of 800 Mhz in the clause 6 of these guidelines also create a serious discrimination by selectively wrongly declaring 1800 Mhz spectrum an un-liberalised spectrum."
"Technology neutrality is already enshrined in the existing policy and licensing regime since 1999 and the same has been repeatedly stated, confirmed, clarified... by DoT on several occassions," COAI said.
The association pointed out that licences were issued to CDMA telecom service provider at the same price which GSM service providers paid.
"Now the present discrimination in the form of clause '6' of the said guidelines, in terms of selective imposition of costs for purported and erroneous 'liberalisation' of 1800 Mhz spectrum will further add on the largesse already provided to these operators," COAI said.
The GSM body demanded the points objected by it should be withdrawn from the spectrum auction guidelines.


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