Delhi HC refuses to stay allotment of crossover spectrum

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New Delhi, Jan 3 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today refused to stay the allotment of crossover spectrum and issued notices to the Union Government, telecom regulator TRAI and operators Reliance Communication and Tata teleservices.

The notices were issued on a petition filed by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) against the government's radio spectrum allocation process.

Justice Gita Mittal while declining to stay the allotment, posted the matter for January 31 and also asked HFCL, Shyam Tele links, BSNL and MTNL to file their response within a week and then file its rejoinder a week after that.

The Court said if the Government wants to move ahead and give its in-principle order, it will be subject to Court's final order.

The COAI is a representative organisation of telephone operators offering services on the GSM (global system for mobile communications) platform. Reliance and Tata mainly provide mobile phone services on rival CDMA (code division multiple access) platform.

Mr Ram Jethmalani, counsel for GSM, said there is a high level of conspiracy in the Government and the political head of the department will have to face action.

Mr Harish Salve, counsel for Reliance Communications, said the GSM industry needs to get out of its mindset of wanting to dominate the market and adding subscibers by blocking competition.

According to the original petition, the four members of COAI--Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Spice--spectrum or radio frequency is the lifeline of telecom industry and this is adding about eight million subscribers a month. The continous growth has led to the need for additional spectrum which is good for healthy competition, they had said in their petition.

Earlier in December, TDSAT gave the government a go ahead to allot start up GSM spectrum to CDMA operators like Reliance Communications. This was challenged by the GSM operators in the High Court.

UNI MSJ RL HS1917

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