New Delhi: In a move that could upset Reliance and Tata’s plans to start GSM mobile services, TRAI has asked the government to prescribe “contingent” roll out obligations besides seeking additional Performance Bank Guarantee and Financial Bank Guarantee from the two operators.
Anil Ambani group company Reliance Communication and Tata Teleservices have been permitted to use GSM platform as a dual technology to offer mobile services and are being given the radio frequency in respective circles.
“In order to ensure that the additional spectrum is efficiently and properly utilised in a timely manner, the licensee (RCom and Tatas) should also be required to fulfill the contingent roll-out obligation,” TRAI said in a letter to Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura.
The regulator said that the Unified Access Service (UAS) licenses of the two operators be amended accordingly incorporating specific mention of roll-out obligations and liquidated damages for GSM services in case of failure to honour the commitment.
The two companies could not be contacted for their comments despite repeated attempts.
TRAI’s suggestion has come months after DoT having allocated GSM frequency to Reliance Communications for all the circles the company had applied while Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd are being given start-up circle wise frequency depending upon the availability.
Besides imposing contingent roll-out obligations, TRAI said that DoT may also take additional Performance Bank Guarantee from these licensees.
“Further, since a fee has been prescribed for use of alternate technology and clause corresponding to radio spectrum charges has been modified, DoT may also take Finance Bank Guarantee (FBG) from these licensees,“ TRAI said.
The regulator has said that the above mentioned requirements were prescribed in TRAI’s recommendations on “Review of License terms and conditions and capping of number of access providers” last year.
DoT, however, has not taken any decision on TRAI’s latest suggestion but sources said that such a move may not find favour with the government as this would make the playing field tilted towards existing GSM operators.