WLL-M Not Unsettling Cell Industry: ABTO

New Delhi: | Updated: Sep 17 2003, 05:30am hrs
As cellular operators demanded compensation and additional entry fee on the part of basic operators for providing wireless in local loop mobile (WLL-M) service, basic operators have listed reasons as to why an additional entry fee should not be levied on them. In their response to Telecom Regulatory Authority of Indias (Trai) consultation paper on Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) order, Association of Basic Telecom Operators (ABTO) has said that mobile operators were fully aware about the presence of WLL-M service while buying fourth cellular licences.

Cellular operators took a conscious decision with full knowledge of the prevailing market situation, it said.

It also listed other factors pointing out that WLL-M was not mainly responsible for an unsettling element in the cellular industry. Ever since WLL-M services started, the rate of growth in the cellular industry has multiplied. Almost 10 lakh subscribers are being added every month in the current financial year by cellular operators as against the average of 5 lakh per month in year 2002-03. ABTO also added that cellular operators have reduced tariffs only as a result of competitive pressure within their own industry.

ABTO listed various sops for cellular operators like termination charge payments, reduction in revenue share as licence fee from 17 per cent to current levels, among others.