Trai Calls For Clarity On Entry Fee For WLL-M Operations

New Delhi: | Updated: Sep 18 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will submit its recommendations on the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) order within a months time. This was informed by Trai chairman Pradip Baijal on the sidelines of open house held on the consultation paper on TDSAT order.

The authority has also called for more specific replies from the stakeholders on the issues riased in the consultation process by 20 September. Mr Baijal said, Four issues were raised for consultation. We found many generalities in the answers. There were no specific replies. We, thus, request the operators to give specific replies like suggesting what exactly should be the entry fee that needs to be levied on the basic service operators for providing wireless in local loop - mobile (WLL-M) service.

... Plans To Chart Recommendations On Unified Licence
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New Delhi: While telecom industry and consumer organisations are still divided on the unified licence regime, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will go ahead with charting its recommendations. However, it has not set a timeframe for submitting these to the government.
We must move towards access licences where technology and medium do not matter, Trai chairman Pradip Baijal said just after the open house on unified licence regime held in Delhi. While basic operators supported the unified regime, cellular operators have opposed the idea.

Mr Baijal rejected the cellular operators demand for appointing an independent agency that would calculate the amount of entry fees and compensation that needs to charged from basic operators. The operators were asked by the Trai during the open house to suggest some such independent agency. Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), on its part, without naming any agency in particular, said that since the issues involved in this consultation paper were wide ranging, a suitable external agency with multiple sector expertise could be appointed.

Trai also rejected private basic operators plea that called for no imposition of additional entry fee for provision of WLL-M service. There is a clear TDSAT judgment as per which we have to specify additional entry fee which they have to pay for providing WLL-M service. The issue is not whether or not additional entry fee will be charged. The issue is what is the quantum of additional entry fee that needs to be levied, said Mr Baijal.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd in its submission has said that additional entry fee should not be imposed on basic operators for provision of WLL-M service provided it is limited to a short distance charging area .

Trai has been mandated by DoT to give recommendations on issues raised by TDSAT to level the playing field between basic and cellular operators.