The War between the GSM and CDMA based mobile service providers has now reached absurd levels — foreign junkets of government officials. CDMA service providers want a level playing field in the foreign visits of members of the spectrum committee.
They have written to the department of telecommunications (DoT) that the spectrum committee members have visited only those countries (France and UK) where GSM services are in operation. They should not finalise spectrum report till they visit CDMA predominant countries (US, Japan and Korea).
“What have trips to do with level playing field,” an amused DoT secretary Siddharth Behura asked in an April 13 internal note. “The visits were as per the requirement.”
The spectrum committee is a multi-disciplinary committee comprising members from IIM, IIT, C-DOT, TEC, WPC, licensing and economic wings of DoT.
In a letter to CDMA association (Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India), DoT said: “There are number of ways to gather relevant information from various sources. The committee in its wisdom is free to finalise its report even without visiting abroad. Hence, the foreign visits of the committee are as per requirement and deliberations in the meetings of the committee and may not be linked with level playing field.”
CDMA and GSM players are fighting with each other over various issues related to licence conditions, allocation of spectrum and pricing of spectrum. Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and Aircel are among leading GSM players, while Reliance and Tata are among leading CDMA players.