GSM operators scared of new competition: Reliance Jio

GSM operators scared of new competition: Reliance Jio

The incumbent GSM operators and their association COAI are opposing Reliance Industries' planned entry into the voice services area because they scared of the new competition, RIL-backed Reliance Jio Infocomm said.

The government recently allowed companies with broadband spectrum, such as RIL, to offer voice services using 4G spectrum by paying Rs 1,658 crore.

The COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India), the industry body representing the GSM operators, opposed the government's decision. According to the COAI, the government's allowed companies like RIL a back-door entry as their licence that they had purchased in 2010 didn't permit voice services.

In response, Reliance has wrote a letter to the Department of Telecom (DoT) blaming the incumbent GSM operators of being scared of losing their `monopoly'.

In the letter, Reliance Jio said, "In our opinion, the current unfolding of events shows the incumbent cellular operators and their association COAI are scared of the new competition."

Reliance Jio also argued that the Notice Inviting Application (NIA) didn't restrict the holders of broadband spectrum from subsequently migrating to any other licence issued by the Government.

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has also refuted the GSM operators' allegations that the government unduly favoured RIL. Mr. Sibal stressed that regulator Trai said that everyone should be permitted to move to a Unified Licence, and then to offer voice services.

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