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No issue with DoT on 3G: Trai chairman

No issue with DoT on 3G: Trai chairman
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First Published: Sun, Sep 07 2008. 01 10 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Sep 07 2008. 01 10 PM IST
New Delhi: Trai Chairman Nripendra Misra has dismissed rumours of differences with the DoT over the 3G issue, saying the role of regulator and power of the Department are well-defined.
“When it comes to a certain decision, if we find through detail reading that DoT has overlooked some aspects, then we bring it to their notice through letter. It is up to DoT to heed it or not. We know our responsibility and the power of DoT. We are here to complement them,” he told PTI.
With regards to 3G, the Trai Chairman had earlier written to DoT that if new licences are issued to foreign players then as per TRAI Act, DoT has to turn to TRAI for working out the consultation and recommendations before issuing new licences.
In the guidelines, DoT had said new 3G bidders will have to pay Rs1,651 crore to acquire a modified UASL, in addition to the bidding amount, which begins at Rs2,020 crore.
Reading it as a modified UASL licence, Misra wrote to DoT Secretary saying: “If the DoT makes any attempt to amend the UASL or even proposes a new 3G licence, it is obliged by law to seek our recommendations.”
In its reply, the telecom ministry had earlier last month said: “The UAS licensees are authorized to provide triple play services. 3G service providers are not new category of licensees and they shall be offering 3G services under terms and conditions of UASL. This will include 3G spectrum allocation.
After the exchange of series of letters and responses between DoT and TRAI over 3G, Misra said: “Licenses can be issued to new players. There is a new license only if government says that they have to issue new licences.
Currently, there is only one licence Unified Access Service and if an UASL is issued to an auction winner for 3G with the same terms and conditions as has been issued to mobile voice operators in circles, then it is not a new licence.”
“Government is competent to decide what will be the fee for licence or entry fee. That is not license per se. It is a revenue aspect. Auction of spectrum is not term and condition. It is implicit that certain bands are already mentioned in the UASL licence... and the 3G bands are new for which auction will take place has already been agreed between DoT and TRAI.
“DoT is competent to take a decision on the matter and it does not have to depend on TRAI. As long these two conditions (auction and issuance of UASL to a 3G winner with same terms and conditions) are there there is no new licence,” he said.
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First Published: Sun, Sep 07 2008. 01 10 PM IST