In a bid to enable subscribers to choose their own long distance operator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) now plans to start work on Carrier Access Code (CAC) and decide modalities of how an expense of Rs. 1956 crore required for upgrading exchanges to support the new system could be shared between players.
"Government has done a study along with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) which has pegged the total cost for CAC at Rs. 1956 crore. The regulator and the operators will now have to decide how this expense has to be shared. We will soon start work on this," TRAI chairman Pradip Baijal, said.
Baijal said that of the ways to introducing CAC was through a consensus between the operators on sharing of costs required for upgradation.
"The main issue is who will pay for the costs. Earlier it was simple in a government environment; BSNL would have picked up the bill. But now the cost will have to be shared in a logical manner. Either the operators agree to a formula or TRAI will have to issue a regulation on how the cost is to be shared for introducing CAC," he pointed out.
"Today the subscriber has to dial just eight-nine numbers. Once CAC is introduced, the exchange and network will have to support a larger numbers. In such a case the exchange will need to be changed or upgraded," Baijal said.