COAI maintains status quo on TRAI directive on interconnection

COAI maintains status quo on TRAI directive on interconnection
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First Published: Mon, Aug 18 2008. 06 11 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Aug 18 2008. 06 11 PM IST
New Delhi: Unfazed by a seven-day ultimatum set by the country’s telecom regulator, TRAI, to interconnect to the new GSM networks of Reliance Communications Ltd or RCom, a lobby representing incumbent mobile phone operators here who 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.
RCom, which mostly used a rival code division multiple access (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 rollout 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, adding the group was ”considering various options”.
On 6 August, COAI in its letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or Trai, had said the prevailing interconnection arrangement existing since 2003 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 such as 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 contravention of the direction and terms and conditions of the licence agreement.
An RCom spokesperson did not answer calls made to his mobile phone for comment.
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First Published: Mon, Aug 18 2008. 06 11 PM IST
More Topics: TRAI | GSM | RCom | COAI | Airtel |