RCom rivals dig in their heels over GSM hook-up

RCom rivals dig in their heels over GSM hook-up
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First Published: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 01 AM IST

Need to renegotiate: T.V. Ramachandran, director general of COAI.
Need to renegotiate: T.V. Ramachandran, director general of COAI.
Updated: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 01 AM IST
New Delhi: Unfazed by a seven-day ultimatum set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India , or Trai, to provide connectivity to the new GSM network of Reliance Communications Ltd, or RCom, a lobby representing mobile phone operators here who already use GSM technology said it was sticking to its stand that a new interconnection agreement has to be made between GSM operators and RCom, since there is a “material change” in the licence conditions.
Need to renegotiate: T.V. Ramachandran, director general of COAI.
RCom, which mostly used a rival CDMA technology on its networks, is now starting GSM-based services.
“The existing agreement applies only to the interconnection between GSM networks and RCom’s CDMA network. There is a material change in the licence conditions, as the GSM network roll-out in a new aspect. Hence, the interconnection agreement has to be renegotiated,” said T. V. Ramachandran, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India, or COAI.
On 6 August, in a letter to the telecom regulator, COAI noted that the 2003 interconnection agreement with RCom pertains only to the CDMA network. “There arises a need to first mutually establish the technical and commercial terms of interconnection for RCom’s new GSM network. And, consequently, establish the physical interconnectivity...”
Trai on Thursday had directed GSM mobile phone operators, including Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone-Essar Ltd, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd, and Spice Communications Ltd, to provide interconnection to RCom’s GSM mobile phone services within seven days ending 21 August, and warned of legal action for possible contravention of the direction and terms and conditions of the licence agreement.
An RCom spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to calls made to his cellphone.
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First Published: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 01 AM IST