Trai Sweats It Out Over Access Charges

New Delhi: | Updated: Jan 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
Even when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) remained busy on Thursday giving the final touches to its report on tariffs for basic services, basic operators kept sending protest letters to the regulator against providing any concessions to the cellular industry in terms of interconnect and licence fee charges. However, cellular operatorswho have already made enough noise on interconnect are silently waiting for the verdict.

According to the sources close to Trai, the regulator may not be able to release its recommendations on basic services tariff this week as there are still a few loose ends to be tied up and some minor issues to resolved internally.

The sources said the regulator was also taking some last minute inputs from Indian and international consultants specialising in telecom tariffs. The report may get delayed and can be released early next week, said sources.

The telecom industry as well as millions of telephone users are eagerly awaiting the Trai report as it is expected to make a financial impact on the players as well as users.

Moreover, the recommendations can again rake up the access charges conflict as it may not suit any one type of service provider.

The basic service providers who have not been paying any access charges so far do not seem to be in a mood to accept any recommendation that goes against them or in favour of cellular opeartors.

The Association of Basic Telephone Operators (ABTO) has written two more letters to the regulators repeating its stand against allowing termination charges to cellular operators.