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Reliance to maintain WLL service tariffs

G. Rambabu

New Delhi , Aug. 19

RELIANCE Infocomm Ltd will continue to hold its present tariff structure for limited mobility (WLL) services, even if it is asked to shell out additional entry fees and spectrum charges as part of a "level-playing field" package.

The package is being worked out by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

According to Mr Amit Khanna, Chairman, Reliance Entertainment Ltd, the additional charges that may be levied will not be passed on the subscribers. They will continue to enjoy the low tariff structures that the company had introduced which enabled it to mop up close to four million customers already, he told Business Line.

Dismissing speculation that the extra fees that Reliance may have to pay will make it change its business model, by shifting the burden onto the customer, he stated that the tariff structure that the company had introduced had led to overall fall in telecom tariffs. This had resulted in Laffer Curve like situation where the whole base had expanded tremendously. It is not just the WLL customer base but also the cellular subscriber base had grown, so it makes business sense to keep the tariffs at the present level and let the market grow.

In any case he said, the company is willing to go a step ahead and pay up whatever is required to convert its basic licence into a full-blown mobile licence so that the uncertainty and confusion in the sector stops. This will only lead to more competition for the benefit of the customers and the market can also expand rapidly to keep pace with that of countries like China. The mobile operators have no locus standi to oppose this, he said.

Mr Khanna noted that since the TRAI has already proposed a unified licence and the Convergence Bill is already pending before Parliament, the company is willing to pay whatever the DoT decides.

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