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Telcos withdraw 2G petition against TRAI

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular on Tuesday withdrew their petition before Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) challenging recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 2G spectrum.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2010 10:22 PM IST

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular on Tuesday withdrew their petition before Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) challenging recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 2G spectrum.

The operators withdrew their plea when TDSAT was about to reserve its order on the maintainability of the petition after hearing the case for more than one-and-a-half hours.

The Anil Ambani group company RCom had planned to oppose GSM operators if the petition was accepted.

TRAI has recommended to the department of telecommunications (DoT) that all the mobile telecom operators should be charged a one-time fee for the 2G spectrum they hold beyond 6.2 MHz, as spectrum is a scarce national resource.

During the proceedings, TDSAT observed that since TRAI proposals are only recommendations, they cannot be challenged.

TDSAT chairman Justice SB Sinha allowed the operators to approach any other appropriate forum on their grievance.

TRAI counsel Meet Malhotra told the tribunal that TRAI recommendations were only advisory in nature, so it was “premature for the petitioners to have approached the tribunal.”

Justice Sinha asked the counsels of the operators whether their plea was maintainable as the recommendations were advisory in nature.

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