Reliance Communications has reportedly withdrawn from the membership of CDMA industry body, the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI), amid ongoing merger process with Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Aircel. RCom used to be the member of GSM body COAI, but had left it in 2007 -08 following differences with incumbent telecom operators like Bharti Airtel.
A PTI report suggests that RCom’s move has now raised uncertainty over future of the industry association, which also represents CDMA technology players like Sistema Shyam, Tata Teleservices. AUSPI have been advocating and representing telecom operators that started their business with CDMA technology and also vigorously defended the dual license policy whenever it came under attack from rival telecom sector body COAI, the report added.
The report said that the reason for the withdrawal of RCom is not known. The Anil Ambani-led telecom operator currently has a deep partnership with elder brother Mukesh Ambani’s telecom firm Reliance Jio, which is a member of GSM industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
Chinese telecom gear maker, Huawei and chipset maker Qualcomm, are members of the AUSPI.
RCom had recently approached the telecom ministry to surrender a part of its spectrum holdings in the 1,800-MHz frequency in four circles Mumbai, Karnataka, Haryana, and Punjab and had been purchased. The telco had bought 0.6 MHz spectrum in Mumbai for around Rs 160 crore, Karnataka for Rs 108 crore, Punjab for Rs 42 crore and Haryana for Rs 27 crore.
The Anil Ambani-led telecom venture has sought a refund of some of the payments, which have been made. Reports added that the move, upon approval from the Indian government, will allow RCom to “escape paying the instalments towards the purchase of spectrum that it now wants to surrender.”