Number portability: RCom accuses COAI of “anti-competition” mindset

Number portability: RCom accuses COAI of “anti-competition” mindset

New Delhi: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications on 13 November 2007 reacted strongly to the Cellular Operators Association of India’s stand that the government’s move to allow number portability is aimed at helping a particular operator looking to enter the GSM space.

In a statement, the firm said that newer GSM players like Aircel, Idea and Spice would benefit the most as they seek to enter new circles. “Aircel, Idea, Spice will benefit most from mobile number portability on launch of services in new circles," the statement said.

The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group firm also accused the COAI of having a monopolistic, anti-competition and anti-consumer mindset.

“COAI’s opposition to mobile number portability is beyond comprehension... customers are nobody’s monopoly, they should have freedom of choice," the CDMA major said.

The government had yesterday announced that the mobile number portability, under which users would be able to switch operators while retaining their existing cell phone numbers, would be allowed by next year.

Reacting to this move, COAI director general T V Ramachandran had said: “Mobile number portability was being introduced to benefit a select operator desirous of entering the GSM segment and thereafter poaching on the subscribers of existing GSM players.

RCom also asked COAI to “stop shadow boxing" at the behest of two leading GSM operators, but did not name them.

CDMA players’ association AUSPI and RCOM chairman Ambani had lauded the new policy and said this would benefit customers.

“It is pro-competition, pro-consumer and above all pro-choice. For the first time in four metros, GSM operators will face real competition," Ambani said.