Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed GSM operators, including Bharti Airtel, for a second time, to offer interconnection to Reliance Communications.
Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Communications, plans to roll out 3G services in both GSM and CDMA. ''GSM launches will begin by the end of this year and conclude by middle of next year," chairman Anil Ambani said while announcing the company's results.
GSM operators had refused to offer interconnectivity to Reliance Communications on the ground that its GSM network was part of a new licence and, therefore, it will have to negotiate fresh terms with the likes of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone.
TRAI has, however, held that Reliance's GSM network was part of the unified access licence it already holds for offering CDMA-based mobile services and so there was no need for renegotiating terms for interconnectivity.
RComm will not be able to start commercial services without interconnectivity as a Reliance GSM subscriber would not be able to call any of the 200 million GSM subscribers of other operators across the country.
GSM operators had argued that as the government's decision to allow dual technology to RComm was under the scrutiny of the court, they were not under any compulsion to provide interconnection till the matter was cleared.
Reliance Communications, alleged that other GSM operators were using interconnection to block its entry.
As per TRAI's regulation, operators are required to offer interconnection to each other on mutually agreed terms within a stipulated period of time. TRAI told existing GSM operators to comply with the order within seven days or face penalty.
RComm, meanwhile launched its GSM services in Delhi for some of its employees.