COAI For Rs 3,000 Cr Tag On WLL Entry

New Delhi: | Updated: Sep 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has proposed to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) that each wireless in local loop (WLL) operator should be charged Rs 3,000 crore as entry fee for an all India licence.

Moreover, the WLL operators should also be charged interest on the entry fee as they would be paying the licence fee only in 2003 while the services were permitted in 2001.

The Association of Basic Telecom Operators (ABTO) and COAI were asked to propose a formula for an entry fee with a justification to calculate the entry fee by Trai in a open house session held recenty.

When contacted, an ABTO official said that the association will make its fresh submission to Trai on Wednesday. He, however, did not comment on whether ABTO would stick to its earlier stand of a nil entry fee for WLL operators.

In a fresh eight page letter submitted to Trai by COAI on Tuesday, the association said, We reiterate our submission that the proposal that the WLL (M) entry fee be equated to 4th CMSP (Cellular Mobile Service Providers) license fee less the entry fee for fixed services, is absolutely unacceptable to us.

The correct benchmarking would be the average of the All India cellular licence fees for all the three private operators which would amount to approximately Rs 3000 crores per operator for an All India licence, COAI said, adding that specific circle wise figures could also be derived for the average of the three private operators.

COAI has also submitted that licence fee should be determined after factoring that the resource and the licence provided to WLL operators is at least five times more valuable.