CDMA telecom operators body AUSPI in a letter to the telecom minister Kapil Sibal has described proposed imposition of one time charge on spectrum already held by operators for the remaining licence period as "discriminatory".
Though COAI did not buy this argument, AUSPI said that it would aggravate the prevailing inequality among old GSM operators and others.
“Apart from being legally untenable, is skewed in favour of the incumbent GSM operators whose balance licence period is only a few years”, said the letter.
The DoT proposal said that the existing operators should be asked to pay the price for all the spectrum they currently hold, once the price of spectrum is discovered in the upcoming auction. COAI said the claim is "totally inaccurate".
"When the licences come up for renewal, all operators would have to pay the market price and therefore, the proposal is not discriminatory towards the GSM operators," Mathews told reporters.
AUSPI alleged that if the proposal was accepted, it would cause huge damage to business and investments of its members.
"The proposal would mean the operators having enjoyed free spectrum for a longer period of time will pay for lesser period of time and those who have got licences later will have to pay for longer period," the letter added.
The DoT has proposed that instead of charging for spectrum held beyond 4.4 Mhz, incumbents should be asked to pay for the entire spectrum that they hold in order to ensure a level playing field among operators.