Tata-Ambani war of words turns ugly
Mumbai: A war of words between the Tata and Anil Ambani groups took a nasty turn on Monday, with both camps levelling serious charges against each other.
Tata Teleservices on Monday hit back at RCom's statement issued on Sunday. The company said it is unfair and incorrect to compare TTSL with dual-technology operators like RCom, as they had applied and received approval even before the necessary policy came into effect.
TTSL's statement was in response to RCom's claim that it had to wait 18 months from February 2006 to receive a dual-technology (GSM and CDMA) licence.
RCom had said its application was "on identical terms and payment of identical fees as the three other companies -- Shri Ratan Tata group's Tata Teleservices, Himachal Futuristic and Shyam Telecom (now Sistema) -- and there is nothing special or untoward (about it)."
TTSL, however, said it "was the only operator among those named to apply for a dual-technology licence after the October 19, 2007, announcement by the department of telecom (DoT) and it is, hence, unfair and incorrect to compare TTSL with the other applicants, who had applied before the policy was announced."
Tata-Ambani war of words turns ugly
"It is indeed special and intriguing that RCom and two other operators applied and got DoT approval even before the policy was announced," TTSL added.
TTSL said while RCom was allotted spectrum in all circles immediately in January 2008, TTSL received DoT approval after 83 days. Even after three years, TTSL is still waiting for spectrum in the crucial Delhi circle and 39 commercially important districts in nine other telecom circles, it said.
The comptroller & auditor general had pointed out that DoT favoured RCom by letting it jump the queue for grant of GSM spectrum.
The dispute became personal with RCom issuing a late night rebuttal to TTSL's statement that the company and the Tata group were not family-owned or family-run concerns, or even owned by Ratan Tata. "Hence, RCom's reference to them as "Shri Ratan Tata group's Tata Teleservices' is not appropriate," TTSL had added.
RCom on Monday said it is "very suspicious to see Shri Ratan Tata suddenly disowning Tata Teleservices as not being Ratan Tata's company and there appears to be more than meets the eye. Shri Ratan Tata is putting a distance between himself and his group, and Tata Tele, which is completely in conflict with documents, letters, etc, on record".
On the other charges, an RCom spokesperson said that the frivolous grounds raised by the Tata group against RCom's dual-technology approval was rejected by the Delhi High Court in 2008 and the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal in 2009.
Source: Business Standard