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Tata, RCom in war of words over 2G dual technology licence

PTI  New Delhi, February 14, 2011
First Published: 18:41 IST(14/2/2011) | Last Updated: 22:03 IST(14/2/2011)

Tata Teleservices and RCom were tonight locked in a war of words with the Tata firm attacking the Anil Ambani group company comparing itself with it on the issue of gettiing 2G dual technology licences.

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In a late night statement, RCom described as frivolous the grounds raised by Tata group against them on the issue of dual tech approval which was rejected by the Delhi High Court way back in 2008 and TDSAT in 2009.

"Very suspicious to see Shri Ratan Tata suddenly disowning Tata Teleservices as not being 'Ratan Tata's company' - there appears to be more than meets the eye.

"Shri Ratan Tata putting a distance between himself and his group, and Tata Tele, completely in conflict with documents, letters etc. on record," the statement said.

Earlier in the day, TTSL in reply to RCom's statement yesterday said that it was unfair to compare as RCom and other two operators got the dual technology licences even before the policy was announced in 2007.

RCom had said that its application was "on identical terms and payment of identical fees as the three other companies --Shri 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'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.

TTSL said that it "was the only operator, amongst those named above, to apply for Dual-Technology Licence after the 19 October 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.

TTSL said while RCom was allotted spectrum in all circles immediately in January 2008, it got 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 in 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 in relation to various matters from 2001 to 2008.

TTSL clarified 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 Ltd' is not appropriate," it added.


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