Ambani opens fire on GSM operators Vodafone, Bharti | business | Hindustan Times
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Ambani opens fire on GSM operators Vodafone, Bharti

Anil Ambani accuses GSM operators of "hoarding" surplus spectrum and seeks PM 's intervention to ensure that service providers surrender the excess airwaves.

business Updated: Nov 11, 2007 16:33 IST

Amid the ongoing telecom tangle, Reliance ADAG chairman Anil Ambani has accused GSM operators of "hoarding" surplus spectrum and sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to ensure that service providers like Vodafone and Bharti Airtel surrender the excess airwaves.

In a scathing attack on GSM players, who are demanding auctioning of spectrum and have moved telecom tribunal TDSAT on new spectrum norms, Ambani said even sector regulator TRAI, fair trade practices watchdog MRTPC as also TDSAT have issued notices to Bharti and Vodafone for "anti-consumer practices".

It is essential that the future of telecom industry is "not undermined by a few vested interest for their narrow personal interests", Ambani said in a letter to Singh days before the Diwali festival.

The letter comes after GSM lobby Cellular Operators Association of India challenged the new policy of allowing dual technology for mobile telephony and new spectrum allocation norms as recommended by Telecom Engineering Centre. ADAG firm Reliance Communications is a key CDMA player and was the first one to apply for GSM spectrum under the new norms.

Ambani asked the government to "see through the motivated agenda of a few existing GSM operators and not succumb to their pressure tactics", and said there should be "a transparent framework for surrender of spectrum in a time-bound manner, wherever not utilised, as per guidelines".

As if supporting Communications Minister A Raja, who has clarified to Prime Minister the issues relating to spectrum, Ambani opposed the auction of spectrum. He said such a route would benefit a close club of few large existing GSM players who remain free to indulge in anti-consumer practices like cartelisation and price fixation.

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