Monday, October 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Govt to implement TDSAT order on limiting
WLL services
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12
In a jolt to WLL players the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Telecom today enforce the ruling of the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) restricting the use of WLL phones to a particular short distance charging area (SDCA).

“The government will enforce the TDSAT ruling that WLL services be limited to the SDCA and necessary steps will be taken soon in this regard”, Communications and IT Minister Arun Shourie told newspersons after a marathon GoM meeting chaired by Finance Minister Jaswant Singh here.

No time frame, however, has been set for the implementation of the TDSAT order.

On the unified licensing regime, the GoM decided to await the final recommendations of the regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). TRAI has already issued consultation papers in this respect.

The TDSAT in its ruling on September 27 had said that it was for the licensor (DoT) to ensure that the distinction between cellular and WLL services was maintained as the license agreement was essentially service specific.

Mr Shourie today said that TRAI was also looking into the matter.

Regarding the unified licensing regime bringing both basic and cellular operators under one license structure, Mr Shourie said that TRAI would give its recommendations before October 30. The next GoM meeting is scheduled on that date.

In its meeting today the GoM also decided to release some additional spectrum following the approval of the Ministry of Defence. The additional spectrum would be released within a month’s time although the quantum of the spectrum was not yet known.

The decision of the GoM may come as a blow to WLL operators who have been maintaining that they were not violating any norms as they were offering only call forwarding facility through mobile switching centres as distinct from roaming facilities offered by GSM cellular operators. 

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