Aircel withdraws from COAI petition in TDSAT

Aircel withdraws from COAI petition in TDSAT


New Delhi: In a setback to GSM operators association COAI, engaged in a legal battle against the government over its decision to allow dual technology and higher subscriber-based spectrum allocation norm, mobile operator Aircel on 2 November recused itself from the case.

During the proceedings of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, Aircel’s counsel informed its decision to withdraw itself from the suit.

However, on being asked by the tribunal, Aircel’s counsel Meet Malhotra refused to give details.

“We have decided that we do not want to be petitioners in this case," Malhotra told the tribunal.

He pointed out that the case was still at a primary stage as notices were yet to be issued by the TDSAT.

According to industry sources, there could be some more withdrawals by mobile operators from the case.

However, Aircel’s senior officials had told PTI on 1 November the firm would continue to be a part of COAI.

GSM operators have been hit hard by the DoT decisions to allow cross-over technology to GSM and CDMA operators on a single licence as well as substantial hike in the number of subscribers for allocation of additional spectrum.

The decision of Aircel to pull out of the ongoing legal duel with the government may not significantly weaken COAI’s case but it exposes the association as a divided house.

COAI had said on 1 November it would file more than one affidavit in the TDSAT shortly on the TEC report which recommended further enhancement in subscriber base for additional spectrum allocation.