CDMA cos deny backdoor entry in letter to Raja

Caught in the slugfest between CDMA and GSM operators over spectrum, communications minister A Raja has now received another letter. This time, it’s from the Association of Unified Telecom Services Providers (AUSPI), which represents CDMA operators.

Reacting strongly to allegations by GSM industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) that CDMA operators gained backdoor entry into the mobile telephony segment, AUSPI has written to Mr Raja that the “said policy decision was taken by the government on the basis of a recommendation from telecom regulator Trai in October 2003.” The August 14-dated letter, the fourth in a month from AUSPI to the minister, states that to allege that there is any backdoor entry of CDMA operators in the mobility service amounts to casting aspersions on the Government of India and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

“If COAI is seeking to know as to how the fully mobile services was introduced by the government, it has to look into the history and the policy decisions taken by the government in November 2003, following Trai recommendations and judicial pronouncements,” it said. “COAI may also like to remember that the same policy also gave further financial concessions to the GSM operators in the form of licence fee partial waiver for a period of four years,” AUSPI said in the letter.

“As a policy decision the government allowed the GSM operators to migrate from payment of the committed fixed fee in a bidding process to revenue-share regime in 1999. If migration to revenue share in 1999 was a result of policy decision of the government, migration to UASL (unified access service licence) in 2003 was also a policy decision,” it added. AUSPI’s letter comes after GSM operators approached Mr Raja on Monday, demanding a probe into the circumstances under which CDMA players were given the full mobility licence.