Leading mobile telephone operators Hutchison Telecom and CSL are opposed to giving back part of their spectrum when their second-generation (2G) licences expire in 2005. In a submission to the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (Ofta), Hutchison said it had serious reservations about the government proposal to redeploy the under-utilised spectrum, while CSL said it wanted to upgrade its TDMA (time division multiple access) spectrum to GSM (global system for mobile communication). 'This is unfair treatment to a licensee who has invested substantial capital and resources to build a network, the market demand for which has been limited by some factors beyond the licensee's control,' Hutchison managing director Agnes Nardi said in her three-page submission released on Thursday. Ms Nardi was responding to an Ofta consultation launched in August on reissuing 2G licences that could lead to another spectrum auction. Ofta has proposed selling the under-utilised spectrum for Hutchison's CDMA network and CSL's TDMA network. Ofta has also proposed giving operators first right of refusal to use the spectrum. Hutchison questioned why the offer did not extend to its CDMA business. According to Ofta, Hutchison has fewer than 100,000 CDMA subscribers, while CSL has fewer than 50,000 TDMA users. CSL, which suspended its TDMA service last year, said it hoped to redeploy the spectrum to extend to its GSM service. Should Hutchison and CSL be allowed to keep their spectrums intact, it would reduce the chance of more operators entering the market. Fixed-line operators such as PCCW, City Telecom and Wharf T&T have already indicated their intention to enter the mobile market if the opportunity arises. City Telecom said it saw an opportunity to move into the mobile data market as it only contributed 3 per cent of total revenue to 2G operators. The figure trailed South Korea and Japan, where the sector accounted for as much as 15 per cent of total revenue, it said. 'Investment opportunity that may be brought by an integration/convergence of voice and data application on the 3G platform would undoubtedly stimulate and create new players and new roles in the new market landscape,' City Telecom said in its submission to Ofta. New World Mobility and Peoples Telephone - the two non-3G licence holders - said they supported the Ofta move to reallocate the spectrum, but hoped it would not charge a utilisation fee. After auctioning 3G mobile licences in 2001, Ofta believes it would be fair to also auction 2G licences, which will expire between July 2005 and September 2006.