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TRAI consultation paper on full unification to be out this week

The consultation paper will deal with unification of licences encompassing all types of services including Internet and long distance services.

business Updated: Nov 09, 2003 14:37 IST

Identifying Internet telephony as the next revolution in the communication sector, TRAI on Sunday said it would shortly come out with a consultation paper on unification of licences encompassing all types of services including Internet, V-SAT and long distance (both STD and ISD) services this week.

"Our paper is ready... We shall issue it within a week or two," TRAI chairman Pradip Baijal said.

The Government had last week approved the unification of basic and cellular licences based on TRAI's recommendations and the next set of recommendations would include other services.

Defending the unification of basic and cellular licences, Baijal said, "this was the most practical solution in view of litigations going on in the sector. Government will be getting about Rs 2000 crore without giving out additional spectrum to players."

On the issue of compensation of Rs 18,000 crore sought by the cellular operators in lieu of unification of licence, a move that would allow WLL operators like Reliance to offer full mobility, Baijal said, "it is unfortunate that players who have been given over Rs 30,000 crore compensation since they started operations are still in the court.

"There is absolutely no rationalisation in their demand and I have communicated this to the Government," he added.

"Bharti has reported profit despite low tariff during the year. BPL has reported cash profits this year. This shows that even the cellular operators are growing despite the entry of WLL services," Baijal said dismissing claims for compensation by cellular operators.

First Published: Nov 09, 2003 11:36 IST