BSNL’s disconnection threat illegal and coercive: Private operators

September 13th, 2011 - 10:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) Private telecom operators Tuesday slammed the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) saying that the operator has been trying to charge an unfair amount as carrier charge from all the private operators and termed the threat to disconnect networks as “illegal and coercive”.

“We wish to inform all the consumers of Rajasthan regarding the illegal and coercive activity of BSNL to attempt to disconnect interconnectivity between its network (both landline and mobile) and private mobile operators’ network,” said Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) in a joint statement.

The Rajasthan circle of BSNL has issued notices asking private operators to pay their dues or face disconnection. Such an action by BSNL will bar subscribers of private telecom operators to make calls to the state-run operator’s fixed line telephone users and vice versa.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s Interconnection Usage Charges (Regulation 2009), a private operator is required to pay 15 paise per minute as carriage charges for a call to the BSNL’s fixed Line network within the circle.

However, according to the operators, BSNL is unfairly trying to charge a higher amount of 65 paise per minute for such calls from all the private operators.

“This is contrary to TRAI’s Interconnection Usage Charge (IUC) Regulation of March 2009. Private operators are not liable to pay this amount as wrongly claimed by BSNL. The TRAI IUC Regulation of March 2009 is still valid and subsisting,” the statement added.

The operators also said that the disconnection threats by BSNL, if carried out, would result in extreme hardship to consumers in various circles of all networks including that of BSNL. They added the state-owned firm has wrongly reported the entire issue and no amount is outstanding on this account to BSNL.

Carrier charges are fees paid by mobile phone companies to fixed line operators for calls terminating on the fixed line operator’s network.

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