New Delhi, July 13 (IBNS): The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Friday rejected a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that said mobile tariffs will rise only by 15 paise if spectrum is auctioned at its recommended price.
The lobby, which represents GSM carriers such as Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, also said said that the fact that TRAI has revised its estimate from 4.4 paise hike earlier to 15 paise was an acknowledgement of COAI's earlier assessment that the impact on tariffs could be much higher.
"The TRAI's objective behind the exercise appears to be a pre-determined answer to an already arrived-at conclusion and an attempt to defend its earlier position on the matter," COAI said in a statement.
TRAI has faced flak from GSM carriers for recommending a minimum price for auction of spectrum of over Rs 3,622 crore for a unit of airwaves which amounts to over Rs 18,000 crore for pan-India operations in case of a new entrant.
Reiterating its stand, COAI said TRAI has again missed out many parameters on which it should calculate the impact of airwaves price on tariff for consumers and said the telecom watchdog’s calculations were "flawed" and "inconsistent with the market realities".
"The increases in tariff, as a result of higher cost, could result in lower usage by subscriber, this will further lower the total minutes of use. Also, since subscribers are expected to grow at 6-7 per as per TRAI, total minutes cannot grow at 14-15 per cent," COAI said.