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WLL row: Reliance faces penalty

October 27, 2003 16:46 IST
Last Updated: October 27, 2003 17:09 IST

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Monday recommended imposing penalty on India's largest private sector basic telephony service provider, Reliance Infocomm, for offering mobility services almost similar to cellular phones, to its wireless phone subscribers.

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, while suggesting a single license for basic landline and cellular telephony, said that Reliance should pay additional penalty over and above the entry fee for already offering mobility services almost similar to cellular mobile services.

Trai on Monday suggested to the government a single license for basic and cellular telephony services.

While the cellular telephony service providers are not required to pay any additional license fee for acquiring the single license called unified license, the basic operators would have to pay the difference of fee they paid and that of fourth cellular operator.

Trai has recommended an additional entry fee of Rs 479 crore (Rs 4.79 billion) on wireless telephone services providers like Reliance and Tatas.

"For the new basic operators, the total additional entry fee payable for all circles for WLL services is estimated to be Rs 479.30 crore," Trai chairman Pradip Baijal told reporters in New Delhi.

Baijal said that the additional entry fee amount for WLL mobility should be charged from basic operators only for those circles where they provide WLL services.

"If they provide such services in all circles, the total additional entry fee for Reliance, operating in 17 circles, is estimated to be Rs 221.04 crore while that of Tata Teleservices and Bharti, operating in four circles each, are estimated to be Rs 129.13 crore (Rs 1.29 billion) each," he said.

He, however, said that in case Bharti was not found to be offering WLL mobility services then the liability would not be imposed on the company.

Trai has said that there should be no additional entry fee in 'C' category circles and most of 'B' category circles. Entry fee therefore would be imposed in Metros as also in some 'A' and 'B' cities.

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