India’s Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has ruled that ‘Walky’, a CDMA-based wireless in the local loop (WiLL) service provided by Tata Teleservices, is a mobile service rather than a fixed-wireless service as claimed by the telco. Under the ruling, Tata is now liable to pay access deficit charges (ADCs) – a levy to subsidise government-run telco BSNL’s rural fixed telephony operations. Following TDSAT’s judgement, other WiLL providers including Reliance Infocomm and MTNL are now expecting to be issued with similar orders to pay ADCs, and WiLL subscribers’ phone bills are set to increase significantly. Tata says it is exploring the possibility of appealing against the decision in the Supreme Court.
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