Telecom tribunal TDSAT has rejected the plea of CDMA operator Tata Tele Services, seeking additional spectrum from the government to level the playing field with rival GSM operators who have received higher allocation of the radio waves.
The company had also requested TDSAT to direct DoT to withdraw additional spectrum allocated to GSM operators. Tata Tele, which has got licenses to operate in 20 telecom areas, had contended that GSM operators got more than 10 Mhz spectrum, much beyond 6.2 MHz permissible under the licence conditions, while CDMA operators got only 5 Mhz.
However, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal rejected the plea, observing that the company failed to establish that the act of the Department of Telecom was discriminatory.
"The Tata Tele Services has failed to produce any material to show that the policy decision adopted by the DoT is arbitrary or purely discriminatory in nature," the TDSAT bench headed by Justice S B Sinha said.
In the petition, filed along with other CDMA operator ADAG group firm RCom, Tata had sought withdrawal of the excess spectrum allotted to GSM operators saying that it was beyond the permissible limit of 6.2 MHz under the licence condition.
The tribunal further observed that Tata Tele had even failed to make out a "prima facie case" for the allocation of additional spectrum for its CDMA service.
"We, therefore, are of the opinion that Tata Tele has also not made out any case for obtaining any relief as prayed," the tribunal said. The tribunal added that it "did not issue any direction either to cancel any policy decision made or directing the private operators to return the excess spectrum."
Tata had contended that DoT should have adopted a neutral policy for GSM and CDMA operators while allotting spectrum.
The plea was opposed by GSM lobby group COAI and DoT, who contended that capacity of CDMA was four to five times more than that of GSM. On July 30, ADAG group firm RCom, which had also filed a petition along with Tata Tele opposing the allotment of excess spectrum had withdrawn the plea.