COAI welcomes DoT’s decision on fixed-wireless fees; WiLL providers not so happy

31 Aug 2005

GSM industry body the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said yesterday that the Department of Telecom’s (DoT’s) decision to treat CDMA-based fixed-wireless services as limited mobile services would benefit India’s cellular subscribers by restoring a level playing field between all mobile services. The DoT’s ruling states that CDMA services currently offered under the name of fixed-wireless, but offering the functionality of limited mobility, will now be subject to the same government levy – the access deficit charge (ADC) – as GSM mobile services. The DoT had earlier ruled that Tata’s ‘Walky’ service, which is marketed as a fixed line service, was actually a limited-range mobile service and was in breach of the terms and conditions of the telco’s licence. Several fixed line providers currently using CDMA wireless in the local loop (WiLL) technology have said that they may challenge in court the DoT’s decision on the grounds that the directive has been issued without waiting for the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT’s) verdict on the issue, due to be delivered shortly. WiLL operators, including Reliance Infocomm, Tata and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) are scheduled to meet with CDMA group the Association of Unified Service Providers of India (AUSPI) to discuss the implications for their user tariffs and explore legal options for contesting the government’s directive.



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