Ashok Sud, secretary general, Auspi, says that CDMA reserve price should be lower than the GSM reserve price and if it true that the Tata's has opted out of the auction then there will be no auction this time.
Below is the edited transcript of his interview to CNBC-TV18.
Q: No bidders for the CDMA spectrum is this not an acknowledgement that there is no future of CDMA in India from hereon?
A: We are not yet officially informed by the Tata's that they have opted out of the auction. If it is true then there will be no CDMA auctions this time. As far as CDMA ecosystem is concerned, globally speaking GSM is above CDMA in 2G services.
Q: Did TRAI, DoT and the entire government overlook industry feedback that CDMA auction reserve price of 1.3 times that of the GSM band frequencies was too high or do you think that other factors are involved ?
A: At every stage we believed that even the GSM reserve price is too high. We also believe that CDMA reserve price should be lower than GSM reserve price and not higher. From both business and ecosystem point of view, the CDMA proposition is not good compared to GSM, but the government chooses to ignore that for whatever reasons.
Q: One time charge for excess spectrum has also taken a knock with today's development because, circles like Delhi and Mumbai have no bids for both CDMA and GSM frequencies. Experts say that this implies that price discovery, which is a must for finalizing the one time charge, cannot take place. How will the government get around this now?
A: We have informed the government that it would not be proper for the government to levy a one-time charge on any spectrum up to 6.2 MHz in GSM or up to 5 MHz in CDMA because as per our contract we have already paid this money upfront when we took these licenses. Even if the government decides to do it now for CDMA, if there is no auction then there will be no discovery price.
Q: Will this now lead to the possibility of a legal challenge as far as one-time charge is concerned?
A: We have a contractual right to get up to 6.2MHz of GSM spectrum and up to 5 MHz of CDMA spectrum without any additional charge. I am reasonably sure that if the government despite our request and pleadings does go ahead and impose it then there will be a reasonable chance that our members would opt to protect themselves even by opting for legal recourse.