VSNL urges TRAI to scrap ADC

Updated on May 07, 2004 05:52 PM IST

ILD carrier VSNL on Friday urged TRAI to scrap Access Deficit Charge (ADC) as it was leading to the smuggling of international calls.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Kolkata

International long distance (ILD) carrier Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) on  Friday urged Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to scrap access deficit charge (ADC) as it was leading to smuggling of international calls.

Speaking at the `Telecom East' summit organised by CII (eastern region) in Kolkata on Friday, VSNL Managing Director LSK Gupta said that nearly 30 per cent of incoming international long distance calls were being terminated at places where terminator charges were not paid.

Demanding that ADC should be scrapped, Gupta suggested the fixed line operators could be suitably compensated either from the universal service obligation (USO) fund or from any other source.

Gupta said Pakistan had successfully tackled the problem by sentencing the offenders for seven years. However, he said that this was not possible in India, adding that scrapping of ADC was the only way out.

Asked about the hitting which the premier ILD carrier was taking due to this, Gupta said it was substantial. Out of 3.5 billion minutes of incoming international traffic per annum, nearly one billion minutes were being smuggled, he said.

Asked whether VSNL was seeking any legislation to be in place to curb the smuggling of international calls, Gupta said similar recommendations had gone to TRAI in this regard.

Another area which Gupta had expressed concern was that of third party payment of ADC. While an international long distance call originating from the USA was carried by a cellular operator and ADC was paid to BSNL, this was leading to under-declaration of traffic creating another grey market.

In a sense TRAI was encouraging dishonesty, Gupta alleged.

The VSNL chief said TRAI was yet to implement carrier access code (CAC) and the delay was virtually a fraud inflicted upon the operators.

Non-implementation of CAC was a deliberate attempt to delay for the benefit of some operators or inefficiency which cannot be controlled, he said.

Asked whether there would be consolidation in the telecom industry and the market would be able to absorb so many players, Gupta said that the process would happen within three to five years.

VSNL is also a minor player in national long distance (NLD) segment.

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