Leading mobile telecom service provider Tata Teleservices on Monday resigned from the core membership of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), accusing the latter of bias and representing the views of only a few selected old players.
The company has also accused the COAI of blocking the growth of the country's telecom sector to fulfil the interests of some old operators.
"There have been numerous inconsistencies in the functioning of the COAI and over a period of time it has become a mouthpiece of these key older operators," Tata Teleservices said in a letter to the COAI.
"TTSL does not wish to continue associating with an association which just doesn't seem to be able to work in a just and equitable manner. We, hereby, formally tender our resignation as a core member of the COAI," the letter said.
COAI has denied the charges. "COAI vehemently denies the allegations. It has always followed rules and regulations of the association. It is unfortunate that people should try and use the association for narrow parochial interests," said Rajan Mathews, the association's director-general.
TTSL's letter said that the coai "expects members to share legal expenses in all cases but the executive committee ... takes decisions on filing cases and members are expected to pay expenses of even those cases filed against them."
"This is totally unethical and unbecoming of an organisation supposedly the true safeguard and representative of an entire segment of India's fast- growing telecom industry," it said.
Last week, COAI had barred TTSL and two other operators — Loop Telecom and Etisalat — from exercising their franchise for not paying "disputed" dues. TTSL said it had paid all its dues, though there were some disputed amounts.