Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Sunday, Sep 28, 2003
Info-Tech - Telecommunications
Dispute over technology interface Status quo on limited mobility; keep service distinction: TDSAT
New Delhi , Sept. 27
THE Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Saturday asked the Government to ensure clear distinction between cellular and WLL-based limited mobility services, even as it rejected a petition filed by cellular firms to restrain WLL operators from using the mobile switching centres (MSC).
In its majority judgment, the TDSAT came down heavily on the Government for not taking any steps to distinguish between the two services and stated that a Task Force may be set up to work out modalities to ensure that limited mobility services are confined to a short distance charging area (SDCA) as per the licence conditions.
The TDSAT, however, did not stop the WLL service providers from using the MSC as sought by the cellular operators in their petition for the time being. It also did not restrain the WLL operators from offering multiple registration since this issue was not part of the petition.
After the judgment, both the WLL operators and the cellular operators, claimed victory over the long drawn-out war between them over the issue of limited mobility.But a telecom analyst said today's verdict means that `the war is not yet over and each side is claiming victory only over a battle'. "But for the WLL operators, this judgment is a breather since they have not been prohibited from using the MSC or providing multiple registrations. So they can continue to offer their service as they do now," the analyst said.
The 2:1 majority judgment by Mr R.U.S. Prasad and Mr P.R. Dasgupta of the TDSAT held that the Government did not provide adequate information to ensure strict conformance by services providers to the rules of limited mobility.
"We were merely informed that there were several ways by which this can be done, but there was a studied silence as to whether any specific action in this direction had in fact been taken or is proposed to be taken," the judgement said.
"This is an unsatisfactory situation. We would like the Union of India as the Licensor to go carefully into the issue of technology to ensure that neutrality of technology is not used as a subterfuge for poaching on each others licensed territories i.e., territory earmarked for cellular mobile service operators and basic service operators providing limited mobility service... ," TDSAT said. The Tribunal disposed of the petition of the cellular operators who wanted to restrict WLL operators to using a technology called `V5.2' and bar the use of MSC since there was ambiguity on use of technology in the licence agreement.
The Department of Telecom stipulates that V5.2 `or an approved improved version with latest technology' can be used for limited mobility services.
"If the intention was to limit the technology to V5.2 group of interface along, the conjunction between the two expressions V5.2 and approved improved technology should have been `and' and not `or'." However, TDSAT has also stated in the judgment that it would be necessary to state in categorical terms that `approved improved version with latest technology' has to conform to the WLL system.
The Task Force that TDSAT wants the Government to set up may consist of independent technical experts in the field of telecommunications.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line