TDSAT judgement : Dr B K Modi calls for a level-playing field

New Delhi: Dr B K Modi, chairman, MCorpGlobal and Spice Communications, addressing a press gathering here, expressed his outlook on Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal's (TDSAT) judgement to allow wireless in local loop (mobile) [WiLL (M)] services. Excerpts:

"Telecom is a key strategic infrastructural sector for India. To meet its target of 80-85 per cent tele-penetration by the year 2020, we need to achieve a base of nearly 1 billion connections in the country. Thus, it is essential that a clean and transparent environment is created for this vital sector.

"The judgement of TDSAT has revalidated the findings of GoT-IT [Group on Telecoms and IT] that WLL needs to be a distinctive service for ensuring that it cannot use mobile switch and cannot offer full mobility. They have also put the responsibility of ensuring the existence of a level-playing field and to make sure that the CMSPs [cellular mobile service providers] get a fair deal.

"We see this judgement as a window of opportunity to resolve this matter in a quick time-frame. We are talking here about hours and days and not months. It is high time that both the basic and cellular industries reaffirm their faith in the government to ensure co-existence and improve their relationship and ability to work together to create a world-class telecom sector.

"This can be done if the responsibility of ensuring fair play is taken by the basic service operators rather than leaving the onus of policing the limited mobility service on the cellular industry. It is also critical to reach such an understanding at the earliest to avoid either party using the interim period to create an unfair edge in the market.

"The government should also show generosity by allocating the required frequency to cellular operators and also compensate them against the exorbitant license fee taken from them to ensure a level-playing field."