| CAC enables consumers to select ISD/STD operator of choice |
It will unleash competition and may also result in lower tariff
At present, there are only four long-distance companies
At present, long distance operations are provided by only four operators: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (only NLD), Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (only ILD), Bharti Tele-Ventures (NLD & ILD), and Reliance Infocomm (NLD & ILD).
Several other operators are, however, awaiting a licence from the government. For NLD, 13 companies have applied including Hutchison-Essar Ltd, Spice Communications and Dishnet Wireless Ltd. Similarly, five companies have applied for ILD licence including Sify Communications, Spice Communications and Shipping stop Dot Com.
It would be only fair to involve the new operators in the consultation process and also watch the market for some time, officials said. Trai chairman Pradip Baijal had told FE last month the regulator would move fast and submit its recommendations on CAC to the government.
CAC has been on hold for than two years now. Explaining the delay, Mr Baijal had said initially the government had asked it to wait for a year. The operators too were not keen since it involved an investment Rs 1,000-1,500 crore in network upgrade.