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Monday, Jan 10, 2005

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TRAI disputes BSNL claims on revenue loss

Thomas K Thomas

New Delhi , Jan. 9

THE Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has dismissed concerns of revenue loss expressed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd because of the revision in the access deficit charges.

It said that there would not be any impact on BSNL as the subscriber growth rate and the increase in minutes of usage would compensate for the reduction on call charges.

Mr D.P.S. Seth, Member, TRAI, said, "While BSNL has all the rights to its views, our detailed analysis shows that the total ADC amount will remain at around Rs 5,300 crore."

As per the regulator's projections, the outgoing minutes of usage on fixed line network will cross 610 minutes per month per user by January 2006 compared to 490 minutes in February 2004 and 550 minutes in January 2005. Similarly the incoming minutes of usage is expected to touch 510 minutes a month compared to 460 minutes at present.

BSNL, on Friday, had said that the new ADC regime is likely to cause revenue loss of about Rs 1,254 crore per annum and therefore it will have to review its various rural telephony projects.

"BSNL's fears of a revenue loss is unfounded as traffic data available shows that the usage is on the increase. The TRAI will any way review the current regime in six months' time," said Mr Seth.

For mobile subscribers, the minutes of usage is expected to go up to 500 minutes a month by January 2006 compared to 300 minutes at present.

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