Reliance - Tata bicker over spectrum allocation

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Ratan Tata
New Delhi, Feb 15: While the 2G spectrum scam has got the Government and the opposition in knots, there is another spat brewing among two major corporate houses in India, Tata Group and Reliance Communications. And its only getting worse every passing day.

The spat started when Reliance Communications claimed that it had to wait close to one year and a half since Feb 2006 in order to obtain the controversial dual technology - GSM and CDMA - licence and that its application was "on identical terms and payment of identical fees as for the three other companies - Ratan Tata Group's Tata Teleservices, Himachal Futuristic Communications and Shyam Telecom (presently known as Sistema) - and there is nothing special or untoward in the same."

Ratan Tata hit back at the allegations and stated that Tata was the only operator to apply for the dual-technology licence post the announcement of the telecom policy in 2007. He also claimed that it was unfair to compare Tata Teleservices to other companies that had acquired licences even before the policy was announced.

The statement by Tata said, "It is even more intriguing that Reliance Communication was allotted spectrum in all the circles immediately, in January 2008, whereas TTSL got DoT approval after 83 days, and that TTSL, even after 3 years, is still awaiting spectrum allocation in the crucial Delhi Circle and in 39 commercially crucial districts in 9 telecom circles; and Tata Teleservices Limited and Tata Group are not family-owned or family-run concerns, or owned by Mr Ratan Tata. Hence, to refer to them as 'Shri Ratan Tata group's Tata Teleservices Limited' is not appropriate."

Will the new turn of events lead to a new corporate war with both industry leaders spewing venom against each other or will the allegations give new clues to unfold the clandestine deals made by telecom companies and A Raja's offices?

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