SC Reserves Judgment On COAI Plea Against WLL Services

New Delhi: | Updated: Nov 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on a petition filed by cellular operators challenging the governments decision to allow basic operators to offer limited mobility services using wireless in local loop (WLL) technology.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice GB Pattanaik, Justice HK Sema and Justice SB Sinha reserved its judgment after hearing the matter for four days. Appearing for Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), senior counsel P Chidambaram said that the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal did not consider all the material and evidence placed before it . In its rejoinder, COAI pointed out that the National Telecom Policy of 1999 had clearly laid down that mobility can be provided only by cellular operators and that basic operators could provide only last mile connectivity. that too in cases of difficult terrain.

Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani appearing for BPL said that TDSAT should have gone into the three basic issues of rural density, substitutability of mobile with WLL and the benefit of new and cheaper technology. Appearing for the basic operators, senior advocate Abhisek Manu Singhvi said that the TDSAT order had covered all the submissions made by the parties, broadly if not specifically. Attorney General Soli Sorabjee appeared for the government.