COAI seeks equal opportunity for members in BSNL pacts

By: | Published: August 4, 2015 1:22 AM

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has complained to the telecom minister against the state-run BSNL’s reported attempts of talks...

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has complained to the telecom minister against the state-run BSNL’s reported attempts of talks with a ‘particular company’ for entering into pacts like intra-circle roaming, spectrum sharing and trading. In a letter to communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, COAI has said that if at all BSNL is thinking of entering into such pacts with other telecom operators it should evolve transparent norms which allow all operators the opportunity to enter into such pacts.

“Infact, we are made to understand that a commercial offer for ICR is being made to a particular operator and an agreement may be imminent. We request that our member operators should be given equal opportunity to participate and enter into such arrangements with BSNL so as to conform to the ‘Equality Principle’ contained in Article 14 of the Constitution of India and also to meet the doctrine of level playing field,” COAI’s director general, Rajan S Mathews said in his letter to Prasad.

Mathews told FE that BSNL being a PSU has not followed the due process and their activity is completely out of the public domain. “Being a state run company it must follow the process, where every interested company can make an effort to participate in the BSNL’s activity,” he pointed out.

However, BSNL CMD told FE that that company was not violating norms and is currently in talks with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications for ICR arrangements.

“We are currently discussing on ICR with these three telecom companies. We haven’t discussed the matter with RJIL on ICR yet. We are right now negotiating on tariff and pricing for ICR with these telcos. This pricing is based on network login per minute payment for voice, SMS and data transfer. We expect to come up with ICR in few circles in next two months,” said the BSNL CMD.

BSNL will have pan-India roaming pact, ICR with these private telcos to strengthen its 2G mobile services in areas where either of them have a weak or negligible presence.

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