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Tata Teleservices to File a Review Petition in the Supreme Court
IT News Online Staff

Tata Teleservices Ltd. said that while it welcomes the Supreme Courtís judgment that spectrum, a scarce national resource, will be allotted through auctions, it has been advised to file a Review Petition in the Supreme Court.

The company issued the following press statement:

Tata Teleservices Limited (TTL) welcomes the Honíble Supreme Courtís judgment that spectrum, a scarce national resource, will be allotted through auctions. It has always been our view that spectrum has value and should be paid for.

The aberrations in the policy date back to 2001 and have resulted in wrongful allocations, the beneficiaries of which were not before the Court. If auction covers spectrum wrongfully-allocated since 2001 and is executed in an equitable manner, without bias in favor of selected operators or specific technologies, it should bring in greater transparency and fair-play into the telecom industry.

It is obvious that in the new dispensation mandated by the Supreme Court to be put in place within four months, there has to be a level playing field consistent with the paradigm of transparency.

At the time when NTT DOCOMO invested in TTL, TTL had been in operations for over 12 years, already had 17 licenses, had reached an annual turnover of Rs 6,000 crores, had 3,000 employees, about 100 offices, 33 million subscribers, 60,000 km of fiber, an NLD business, 38% investments in Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited and 100% investments in its tower subsidiary.

The clubbing of TTL with two licensees who had just entered the telecom business from the real estate sector appears to have also overlooked this and the fact that only three new licenses were granted to TTL in January 2008, that these were for Assam, North East and Jammu & Kashmir, and most of all, these were CDMA licenses.

The investment made by its strategic partner NTT DOCOMO was, therefore, not on account of these three licenses but on account of TTLís established position as one of the strong players in the telecom field, apart from its strong Tata brand.

TTL had applied for these three licenses way back in June 2006 and this was kept pending for over 18 months until LOIs were finally issued in January 2008.

TTL has been advised to file a Review Petition in the Honíble Supreme Court seeking redressal on this point.

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