Vodafone Essar resents TRAI review of interconnection charges

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 09, 2011

Vodafone Essar has objected to a move by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to review the interconnection usage charges (IUC) by saying that the consultation paper is not in line with the directions laid down by the telecom tribunal and the Supreme Court.

IUC is the wholesale charges payable by one telecom service provider to another for use of the latter's network for originating, terminating, transiting or carrying a call.

‘bill and keep approach'

Firstly, Vodafone Essar has raised objections that the TRAI has considered a ‘bill and keep' or zero charge approach for determining certain components of the IUC. Quoting an order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) dated September 29, 2010, Vodafone Essar has said that the ‘bill and keep approach' is an option no longer available to the TRAI.

Among other things, Vodafone has raised objection to TRAI's question on whether the operators' capex should be included in calculating/ estimating termination charges.

It has also opposed a discussion point on whether termination charges should be asymmetric with respect to existing operators and new ones.

“It (TRAI's proposals) does not take cognisance of or has deviated from the directions of both the bodies, in relation to the timing (of the consultation paper which was floated last month) the principles enunciated and guidance given by them (Supreme Court and TDSAT) in several key areas,” Vodafone Essar said.

Interim order

The Supreme Court, in its interim order dated February 4, 2011, had directed the TRAI to ‘implement the decision of TDSAT within a further period of four months…' Vodafone said in its letter to the TRAI.

Late last month, TRAI had sought the views of various telecom players on the various parameters that ought to be employed for fixing components of the ICU.

Telecom industry stakeholders have to furnish their written comments to TRAI by May 25, 2011.

Published on May 09, 2011

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