As if taking a cue from Ratan Tata, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) on Monday alleged that old GSM telecom operators took away excess 2G airwaves without paying for it.
In a statement, RCom said that it “supports Tatas’” charge on spectrum hoarding by old GSM operators.
Ratan Tata, in a recent interview to a private channel, had said the government must deal with “people who have excess spectrum. They should pay for it or return it. They have deprived others of that spectrum.”
Mr. Tata did not specify the operators that were allegedly allotted excess spectrum beyond the contractual limit.
“Old GSM operators took 2G spectrum totally free as recently as May, 2008, to March, 2009. They (old GSM operators) did not even pay for excess spectrum at old rates,” the RCom statement said, adding that RCom and the Tatas have consistently raised this issue with the Department of Telecom (DoT).
Mr. Tata had said that “other people have got it, other people are holding spectrum for free. So there are inequalities and inequities in telecom area which still need to be solved.”
RCom was one of the major beneficiaries of the dual technology policy under which CDMA players were allotted 2G spectrum by former Telecom Minister A. Raja in 2008 at 2001 prices, which snowballed into a major controversy.
Both RCom and the Tatas were pan-India CDMA players and were given GSM spectrum as per the dual technology policy. The Tatas, however, have been maintaining that they have been deprived of spectrum in the crucial Delhi circle and many other places, even though they should have had priority over RCom in the allocation of spectrum.
Keywords: 2G spectrum scam