Criticise TRAI recommendations on 2G spectrum
Three leading mobile operators have pre-empted a policy change by approaching the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) recommendations on 2G spectrum, including a one-time fee for holding radio waves beyond 6.2 Mhz.
The operators who have approached the telecom tribunal are: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. However, one of the operators said they could not comment on the details of the challenge as the matter was ‘sub-judice'.
The trio have been voicing their criticism of TRAI's recommendations and have asked the government to dump the report, which according to them is “retrograde” and “absurd”. The GSM operators are also critical of capping the spectrum at 8 MHz in all circles except Delhi and Mumbai where the limit is 10 MHz, as they think it will restrict future growth prospects.
These issues are crucial for incumbent mobile operators as paying higher fees for existing as well as future 2G spectrum will be a big financial burden for telecom companies, especially Bharti and Vodafone, as their profits have already come under pressure due to the intense tariff war.
TRAI had also come under their (GSM operators) attack for recommending reforming of spectrum as per which players holding spectrum in the 900 MHz band would be asked to return spectrum as and when their licence came up for renewal.