Radia Tapes: 127 - Radia, Madhav? (10:55:09)
Duration: 00:13:36; Aspect Ratio: 1.250:1; Lightness: 0.078; Volume: 0.254; Cuts per Minute: 3.085; Words per Minute: 155.350
Niira: Madhav, hi, sorry to disturb you, Madhav.
N: The government's view, I've had a long chat with Chandolia just now, I spent about half an hour on the phone with him.
N: The thing is that, you see, the government's stand is that we're not really as of now looking at the Subhodh Kumar report.
N: We've uh, we're gonna send it to TRAI and that will take 6 months. In the mean time, whatever is our existing policy, our subscriber base will continue.
N: And therefore while she assures that we are in the queue, and therefore Anil Ambani cannot get his 1.8 till we are given our 4.4 because we are effectively in the queue no, for those circles, and the queue will have to be honoured. And therefore his 1.8 will come only after we get our 4.4...
M: But he's currently, in TDSAT, he's asking 1.8 only for Mumbai for which he had made applications before some 7 months or so, and DoT has kept him pending including they had told him- that we are waiting for report and TDSAT judgment is awaited and all those things.
M: So he's pressing only for Mumbai where we have already received our spectrum.
N: And everybody else also has received spectrum in Mumbai, right?
M: Yeah, Mumbai...Mumbai there is no pending applications- unless somebody like Airtel has crossed the subscriber thing. Everybody - there is no pendency really in Mumbai.
N: So he will get Bombay.
M: He will get, he will get Bombay. His application is only for this -
N: The moment will set a precedent.
M: Yes, Bombay will, Bombay will take away the argument from DoT, that we are waiting for this, waiting for that. But I think last week then there was another spectrum matter where DoT said we have not yet decided whether to refer it to TRAI, because Arun Kumar said it will take 6 months time, so why are you asking adjournment only for one month?
M: So they said no we are still debating whether to send a committee report to TRAI, the government has not taken a formal decision on it -
N: No, actually these people have taken a decision, only they have not sent it yet, because I believe secretary has been opposing that.
M: Haan, haan
, but yesterday I think they told AUSPI, the secretary told AUSPI that minister has signed on the file.
AUSPI - Association of Unified Service Providers of India
N: I'm going to - Chandolia told me just now, it's going to TRAI -
M: Haan, haan
N: I've spoken to Chandolia -
M: - signed it day before yesterday or so, on Tuesday he signed the file on sending to TRAI, including perpetual license, uh, concept also.
M: That also they are making a reference, as a part of this, that instead of ten years, twenty years, why not say once it is given, it is given. The spectrum or license, once it's given, unless cancelled, it stands.
N: PMO might object to that.
, right, correct.
N: PMO might not allow that, actually, because they've a very different view from the minister on that one.
M: Haan, haan
N: But the thing is - the thing is that they say he will, unless we get our spectrum as far as Delhi is concerned, they're quite comfortable that nobody will give get spectrum unless we are first cleared. Now my only worry is that he will then go and get some other legal opinion which will say that you know, we've not launched services.
N: That will obviously give us our argument that okay, then the ones that have not launched, including Swan, then give us their spectrum. It can help us, that argument. But my worry is that he may, you know, set a precedent doing this and then move on. And uh...
M: But these, but Arun Kumar uh, Arun Kumar doesn't want to do anything because -
N: - He's retiring no?
M: He's retiring in September. So he, I mean, in one of the functions he say (sic) that okay I, you can print that I have already retired.
M: He doesn't want to take any major hearings also before that. So he will see - I mean, try - because the problem is now he, this other person, Ghia, he can't write judgments, so it is Arun Kumar who will have to write the judgments, because earlier Dr. Sarma was doing that job for each and every matter, Dr. Sarma was writing the judgments. Now there is nobody to write the judgments also. So he's very, Arun Kumar is very reluctant to do anything, yeah.
N: So what do you think is going to be the outcome today, then?
M: No, today he would, I think the government may say okay we are still thinking, government may ask for time...
N: No no, they are not asking for time -
M: Not asking?
N: No their response is that given that the matter's going to go TRAI and it'll take 4-6 months, we will continue to maintain -
M: We will continue with out policy, yeah.
N: Yeah, we will continue to maintain our policy, yeah.
TRAI - Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India
M: That's what they would say today.
N: CoI is the one who's going to oppose this.
CoI - Committe on Infrastructure
M: Yeah, but the CoI uh...the present policy will continue, but the CoI, then CoI members will also keep on getting spectrum.
N: Mmmm...I think -
M: Unless government says we are not going to give spectrum.
N: my sense is that they want to block at 4.4.
N: CoI's saying we want to block at 4.4
M: Block at 4.4? Okay.
N: Yeah, that's their view.
M: Okay. Otherwise, and beyond go that go for (inaudible)
M: But this is already decided matter so Arun Kumar would say that okay, our judgment is very clear, we don't want to do any interpretation on that.
N: Hmm, hmm.
M: That would be the easiest way for him to take a stand...that what is, what is ambiguous in the...what is ambiguous in the judgment, you tell us that.
N: Hmm, hmm, hmm.
M: Because there is no ambiguity in the judgment, because Reliance was given this excuse from DoT, they want to bring a sort of a certificate from TDSAT that they have no objections, which Arun Kumar will not fall prey for that, ya!
TDSAT - Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal
D-T - Department of Telecommunications
N: Yeah, I hope not, I hope not. I don't know, you know, Madhav, (inaudible). Now this Supreme Court matter, we'll take a call, I mean once Anil and I have met minister, we will need to take a call how we approach it, because they've got an answer to both our scenarios, huh.
M: Yeah, exact, and another problem is, this is that January 2008 situation,...we had a lot of opportunities and we're trying to challenge it after 18 months..and meanwhile the third party interests have been created, the spectrum has been given the priority, they had filed that priority list also where we were the last, you know? We've not challenged that also. So the government would say that what stopped you from challenging that time? you could have done that, uh...by filing even a separate petition, How can you come up to us after 18 months or 20 months?
N: Why, because, because we are seeing that we have not been given spectrum, we're seeing other operators, who are not launching their services who have been given licenses and spectrum, and we feel that this is unfair, we were under the impression at that time that we would be given spectrum.
(inaudible, both speaking at the same time.)
M: But then we will have to go to the, go to this TDSAT with a fresh petition, what the first draft is already prepared, and the... because Supreme Court would say that okay this was not the point before TDSAT, so you can't bring before us any new facts or new I mean, arguments.
N: Mm, mmm.
M: That's what they will tell us. That this was a challenge only to the dual technology.
M: And so you can't bring any other allocation points into that. So our remedy is to go to TDSAT, file a fresh petition and say that we were number 2 and we should have been given. And the priority list is...it doesn't have any scientific basis for the priority and all those things.
N: Yeah but minister's told me that he's going to vehemently oppose that.
M: Yeah because the others -
N: Swan, no? Swan.
M: somebody else may not get that then.
N: Swan is his personal interest, yeah?
M: Yeah, his personal interest, yeah.
N: Yeah, he has told me that. So we have to be very, you know what, that's why I don't want to do it in a hurry. We've got...I think we've got time. I think we should wait till we meet him, and I know what he is going to say, that you know, um, this is something that I'm not going to allow, you'll get spectrum, don't worry. So I'm trying to see how there's another strategy that we can work around -
JV - Joint Venture
N: - And um, see what to do. By the way, his AT&T - they'd applied to AT&T for uh, they were going to do a JV with them, AT&T was buying in, that's got blocked, huh.
M: That's got blocked, okay.
N: Blocked because Mukesh has put an objection on the ROFR.
- Right Of First Refusal
M: Yes, correct, and they won't - Companies like AT&T won't take the risk of investment when there is a ROFR, yeah.
N: They approached me to talk to Mukesh...to see that he should not come in the way. Then they approached through the embassy, they then approached through the US Embassy. They talked to several people in industry saying that please talk to Mukesh and tell him that he should not come in the way and all that and Anil will remain with 26%...I mean, our view is why should they give him billions and make a monster out of him, he'll go and bribe more people.
M: Yeah. Correct, because this I think, probably their non-compete is expiring in 2010, I think.
M: 2010, yeah. So by that time, probably they may also - Mukesh also may launch something in Telecom.
N: No, he's not coming into Telecom -
N: No no no no no.
M: Internet related application.
, he's not going to allow him to. No, those are all to do with his captive views, no?
N: He's not interested in Telecom.
M: No, he is doing something with Kishore Biyani.
M: Uh, where...I mean in that company Futuregroup has invested, and somebody from Reliance - Prakash Bajpai, he's the frontman, he was with Anil - Reliance Infocom, he was I mean, before some 5-6 months he was sacked from that company (sic).
M: Because he has already started - he had already started that unit.
N: Hmm, hmm.
M: It is Mumbai's best unit.
N: But that's - I thought that's more for captives.
M: Uh huh, where Kishore Biyani has invested some 65%.
N: Okay okay, I'm not...I'll double check that, yeah.
M: Yeah, those are...ex Tata, ex Reliance Infocom people.
N: Right, right right.
M: ex TTML, means before Tatas took over. Prakash Bajpai was CEO of Hughes Telecom.
N: Hughes, yeah, yeah.
M: Yeah, and then he went to Reliance Infocom, and then he started I think, this, uh, there is some foreign fund has invested 100 billion dollars there.
N: Right, right. But I think that they are not...at least I know for sure from Mukesh that he's not interested in coming back into Telecom -
M: In telecom, okay.
N: Not at all. He's just going to make sure that he - that this guy doesn't get his ROFR.
N: Yeah, yeah. That's basically where he's coming from, so... Let's see. So I just thought that I'd let you know that this is what Chandolia has said.
M: Okay sure.
- Right Of First Refusal
N: So we still have to make sure that they don't uh, then, through Mumbai then slip into Delhi also, you know. That's my biggest worry, you know.
M: Because in Delhi there is no 4.4
N: Yeah, he'll use the subscriber argument, he'll go into Vanavati, get Vanavati to give some silly opinion and then again we'll be stuck.
M: Yes, and Vanavati he wants to remain active...because ADM doesn't come for arguments, really.
N: Hmm hmm hmm, but he was there! He came. He was there.
M: He was there. He vehemently, vehemently opposed the thing.
M: Like any other, as if he was a Solicitor-General, he argues.
N: Hmm, hmm, but isn't that strange?
M: Yes, it is, it is strange and...so probably the judges may say okay, the government is attaching so much importance to this matter -
N: I think Vanavati will get exposed if he does that too much.
M: Let's see, if he does it too much.
N: Yeah. Anyway -