Dual tech licences should be cancelled: COAI to JPC

New Delhi: An organisation of GSM cellular operators on Wednesday told the JPC on 2G spectrum that the dual technology licences issued in 2007 should be quashed on the same grounds the Supreme Court had cancelled the 122 licences earlier this year.

Appearing before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), representatives of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said dual technology licences were issued in 2007 levying a fee equal to the entry fee charged to Unified Access Service (UAS) licences.

"The association mentioned that the Supreme Court in its judgement dated February 2, 2012 held that entry fee for the new UASL was wholly unrealistic. According to the association, then the entry fee is equally unrealistic to dual technology licence holders too.

"It was pleaded that since the UASL issued in January, 2008 have been quashed by the Supreme Court, the dual technology licence issued at the same point of time may also be quashed," JPC Chairman P C Chacko said, quoting COAI representatives.

The matter is already before the Supreme Court.

The association representatives also said the spectrum held by the licensees for the two technologies should be merged and the annual spectrum charges should be at the rate applicable on the total spectrum and not separately.

Dual technology means permitting a combination of GSM and CDMA technology under same licence. The policy was put in place on October 19, 2007.

COAI core members include several private cellular operators. It is considered as the official voice for the Indian GSM industry.