Tata Tele asks DoT for penalty waiver on roll-out delay

Tata Tele asks DoT for penalty waiver on roll-out delay

New Delhi: Telecom operator Tata Teleservices has asked the government not to impose any penalty on it for failing to meet the network roll-out obligation saying the delay was caused by the Telecom Engineering Centre’s inability to test its equipment on time.

In September, the Department of Telecom had proposed a total penalty of Rs135.60 crore on telecom operators for not rolling out network on time. It had proposed a fine of over Rs41 crore on TTL, Rs31 crore on Airtel, Rs19.65 crore on RCom and the rest on others for failing to meet the imeline.

In a letter to Telecom Minister A Raja, the firm said “no penalty in the form of liquidated damages be imposed on TTL since the causes for non-availability of the TEC certificates before the specified dates were not attributable to TTL."

The DoT is yet to respond to TTL’s request.

TEC, the technical wing of the DoT, tests and certifies all networks before being put to operation.

TTSL and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra), both referred to as TTL, migrated to the Unified licence from CDMA licences in 2003, therefore the roll-out obligation changed from circle coverage to 10 per cent of District Headquarters/towns in the first year from date of migration.

TTL said “The concept of full mobility on CDMA technology was introduced in India for the first time in November 2003 as all other operators were offering full mobility. Therefore, TEC engineers had little or ‘no´ exposure in respect of CDMA technology for mobility, and the agency took 13 months after the migration to come out with CDMA testing schedule, which was further revised many times after issuance."