The latest recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on spectrum charges have left leading GSM operators in a state of shock. They have urged the government not to consider them as the recommendations would badly hurt the growth of the world's fastest-growing mobile market. Apart from the GSM lobby — the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Tata Teleservices have rejected the recommendation, while Reliance Communications is the only major telecom player that has spoken in favour of TRAI suggestions. Terming TRAI's latest recommendations on allocation of 2G spectrum as “shocking, arbitrary and retrograde”, Bharti Airtel said: “It seems that the recommendations are designed to punish efficient and performing operators like us for contributing to the growth of the telecom sector and are instead tailor made to benefit select operators whose contribution to telecom growth and government revenues have been negligible.” Vodafone Essar said the proposals were retrograde for the industry and against the interest of consumers. Similarly, Tata Teleservices said the TRAI recommendations have not brought in the level playing field and also failed to address the inequalities in spectrum allocation. On the other hand, RCom has welcomed the recommendations of TRAI, terming them as “progressive and consumer-centric” that would also lead to spectrum efficiency and rural penetration.

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