Uninor, SSTL move SC on 2G spectrum [Financial Express (India)]
(Financial Express (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Uninor, a joint venture controlled by Norwegian telecom operator Telenor, moved the Supreme Court on Friday, alleging that telecom regulator Trai's recommendations on auctioning 2G spectrum were not in tune with the court's February 2 judgment that cancelled 122 telecom licences granted to nine companies by former telecom minister A Raja in 2008.
Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), a joint venture between Russia's Sistema and India's Shyam Telelink, also filed a curative petition seeking re-examination of the February 2 judgment.
Alleging "violation of both the letter and spirit of its orders by the recommendations from Trai, the company, in its statement, said "While the Supreme Court enabled new operators to continue after procuring fresh licences and spectrum through auctions, the recommendations are asking for all but one new operator to be evicted."
The telco said the Trai's recommendations of April 23 were inclined to benefit incumbents as they would be able to 'outbid' new players. Besides, the recommendations to auction spectrum at 13 times the price in 2008 and limit the spectrum sale to a mere 5 MHz in the 1,800-Mhz band, a quantum of spectrum sufficient for only one company to operate, were 'not in line' with the judgment that cancelled 122 licences granted by former telecom minister A Raja in 2008.
"The court ordered an auction whereas the recommendations are simply conducting a price discovery test with 5 Mhz spectrum and not a legitimate auction. The court ordered for fresh licences to be auctioned in four months while the recommendations, taking advantage of the order, are attempting to complicate a straightforward task with regulatory planning for 20 years," Uninor said, while praying to the apex court "to ensure that its orders are fully and accurately complied with".
According to the company, the Trai's recommendations of April 23 would create an artificial scarcity of spectrum in the market, which would lead to a huge price misrepresentation.
SSTL, which promotes its business under the brand 'MTS', also wants re-look at the apex court decision after various review petitions by telecom operators were dismissed by the court.
SSTL, in its curative petition settled through senior advocate Harish Salve, contended that its legal case was different from other telecom operators whose allocation of licences were held as illegal and arbitrary.
In its press statement, SSTL said that "it has consistently maintained that being a pure play CDMA operator, its legal case is significantly different compared to other mobile operators. For example, there is no finding or suggestion by the CAG report that CDMA spectrum was equally or anywhere near in demand as GSM back in 2008. To protect the interest of more than 16 million customers, 3,500 employees, universe of 300,000 retailers and investments of over $3.1 billion, SSTL has filed the curative petition... We are hopeful that the highest court of the land will look into the merits of the SSTL case and consider it accordingly".
Copyright 2012 The Indian Express Online Media Pvt. Ltd., distributed by Contify.com
Credit: fe Bureau
(c) 2012 The Indian Express Online Media Pvt. Ltd., distributed by Contify.com
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