Cellular Telephony in India 2006

Jan 01, 2006

    • January 2
    • TRAI Issued a Consultation Paper on Issues Related to Convergence and Competition in Broadcasting and Telecommunications to elicit views on the need for a comprehensive legal framework for promoting convergence, approach to Unified Licensing, technology and service neutral Spectrum Licensing and on recommendations made by the Broadband & Internet Telephony Committee.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/cpaper2jan06.pdf
    • January 12
    • TRAI issued a Consultation Paper on Next Generation Networks (NGN). The key issues raised for Consultation included relevance and timing for transition to NGN, regulatory approaches to NGN, technical issues pertaining to NGN and migration to NGN
      http://www.trai.gov.in/cpaper12jan06.pdf
    • January 13
    • TRAI issued a Consultation Paper on Differential Tariff for On Network Calls. The key purpose of the Consultation Process was to determine definition of the term “On Network” for the purposes of applicability of differential call charges.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/cpaper13jan06.pdf
    • February 3
    • COAI submitted its response to TRAI’s Consultation Paper on Tariff Plans with Lifetime Validity; submitting that these tariff plans were introduced in the market as competitive response to similar offerings and that there was a need to follow a holistic approach while examining the tariff packages of operators and was undesirable to look at a specific plan in isolation.
    • February 6
    • COAI submitted its response to TRAI’s Consultation Paper on Differential Tariff for On-Network Calls; submitting that the operators should continue to be allowed to offer differential tariffs for calls made within the operator’s own licensed network and not involving usage/ payment of usage charges for any facilities/ network elements of other operators.
    • February 11
    • In a suit filed in Chennai High Court by M/s Marksman Marketing Services, which sought an injunction against the operators from giving live updates of cricket scores by way of SMS, the Ld. Single Judge refused the injunction on the grounds inter alia that material particulars had not been placed before the Court. However, the Ld Judge made various observations recognizing the right of the event organizer in live updates through SMS. The Court also directed the operators to maintain accounts to protect the plaintiff in case right of plaintiff is established. The operators have challenged the above orders by way of filing their respective appeals. Even Marksman has filed its own independent appeal challenging the above Order. COAI has filed applications seeking impleadment in the Suit as also the appeals that had been filed.
    • February 13
    • 3 GSM World Congress held at Barcelona, COAI formed an active part of the Indian contingent.
    • February 20
    • COAI submitted its response to TRAI’s Consultation Paper on Issues Relating to Convergence and Competition in Broadcasting and Telecommunications; submitting that a comprehensive legal framework was needed to deal with various issues arising out of convergence of technologies and services. Carriage and content both should be regulated by Authority and spectrum practices should be in line with ITU. High costs of duties and levies imposed on telecom sector to be brought in line with international practices.
    • February 20
    • COAI submitted its response to TRAI’s Consultation Paper on Next Generation Networks; submitting that as the UAS license permitted operators to offer all types of access services, the present consultations of the Authority would be relevant and important from the technical standpoint, but would neither require nor entail any policy or regulatory deviations from prevalent practices.
    • February 23
    • TRAI issued the Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Sixth Amendment) Regulation (1 of 2006) introducing a revenue share for ADC at 1.5% of AGR. For ILD calls, ADC continued to be payable on a per minute basis in addition to 1.5% revenue share. The Regulation also prescribed a ceiling carriage charge of 65p/ minute for long distance calls.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Regulations/1/regu23feb06.pdf
    • February 23
    • COAI Welcomed Revenue Sharing for ADC and opined that prescription of a 1.5% revenue share on the Adjusted Gross Revenues represented a significant reduction of the ADC burden on the industry and in turn on the consumers. However, Carriage Charges of 65 paise per minute were on the higher side considering the 70% reduction in cost of domestic leased circuits
    • February 27
    • TRAI issued a Directive to Mobile Service Providers in the States of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and UP, directing them not to charge differential tariffs for calls terminating in BSNL network and other service providers networks and report compliance to the Authority within 15 days of issue of this direction.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Directives/1/dir27feb06.pdf
    • March 1
    • COAI requested DoT to allow inter service area connectivity for the cellular and unified licensees whose service area was the same and included the NCR towns as it was permitted to basic service providers.
    • March 2
    • Hon’ble Supreme Court pronounced its judgment on the Sales Tax Matter. The bench ruled that; Electromagnetic Waves are not goods, which implies that Sales Tax cannot be levied on airtime, but Sales Tax may be applicable on the SIM card value depending on the valuation by the assessing officer and Sales Tax may be applicable on the handsets.
    • March 8
    • TRAI submitted its Recommendations for permitting usage of Strings containing #,$, £ etc. for accessing High Speed Data Services in Wireless Networks, recommending that relevant provisions of NNP-2003, viz. clause 1.6 of Introduction Part and Numbers for Special Services described in Annex IV, be elaborated and clarified so that the usage of strings containing #, $, £ etc. for indicating option of High Speed Internet access through wireless networks is explicitly allowed.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Recommendations/2/recom8mar06.pdf
    • March 13
    • The Hon’ble MoC, Thiru Dayanidhi Maran formed an Infrastructure Sharing Committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. M. Sahu, Joint Secretary DoT, to avoid undue proliferation of towers by leveraging benefits of technological innovations, getting expeditious approvals to set up shared sites in critical areas & thereby improve coverage & quality of service, reducing costs for service providers and improve the aesthetics of the environment. The Committee comprised of COAI, AUSPI, TEMA and service providers, viz., Bharti, Hutchison, Idea, MTNL, Reliance and TATA.
    • March 20
    • TRAI submitted its Recommendations on Issues Relating to Convergence & Competition in Broadcasting and Telecommunications recommending converged regulatory regime. The key areas covered in recommendations were Rationalisation of Differential Custom Duty Regime, Restriction on use of Protocols, Institutional funding, FDI Limits and Right of Way.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/recome20mar06.pdf
    • March 20
    • TRAI submitted its Recommendations on Next Generation Networks; covering the following main issues: need for awareness building, enabling policy and licensing framework, facilitating regulatory initiatives, technical and standardization issues and need for cross industry and Regulator collaboration.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/recom20mar06.pdf
    • March 20
    • COAI made a submission to TRAI’s Letter No. 301-2/2006-Eco. dated March 10, 2006, on Regulatory Guidelines for Tariff Plans with Lifetime Validity submitting that that it was practicably not possible to give each and every detail of the scheme in the advertisements in print and visual media like newspapers, magazines, TV, etc. COAI also objected to the Authority’s proposal to modify the provisions of its TTO (31st Amendment) under which Service Providers were only required to ensure that no tariff item in a plan should be increased at least for a period of six months from the enrolment of the subscriber to that plan.
    • March 20
    • 15th Convergence India International Exhibition & Conference. COAI co-sponsored this massive event with Exhibitions India.
    • March 21
    • TRAI issued 43rd Amendment to its Telecommunication Tariff Order covering various aspects arising out of tariff plans having longer validity period including lifetime validity.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/torder21mar06.pdf
    • March 21
    • 14th Convergence India International Exhibition & Conference. COAI co-sponsored this massive event with Exhibitions India.
    • March 22
    • COAI made a submission to DoT and Hon’ble MoC, Thiru Dayanidhi Maran, requesting them to correct the anomaly that existed in the application of the concept of AGR for the purpose of calculation of License Fee, which was leading to double taxation.
    • March 23
    • COAI made a submission to Ministry of Finance submitting that the imposition of 8% of CVD on IT Software should be removed as telecom software fulfilled all the criteria for customized software and could not be classified as canned or off the shelf software.
    • March 24
    • COAI made a submission to Ministry of Finance on withdrawal of Exemptions Under Section 10 (23G) of the Income Tax Act, 1961; submitting them to continue with the benefit as its exemption would raise the cost burden for Service Providers.
    • March 29
    • In Appeal No. 5 of 2005 (BSNL vs TRAI), TDSAT held that the TRAI Show Cause Notice of 12.11.2005 to BSNL for publishing its RIO without TRAI approval was inoperative as the approval for the said RIO was granted by TDSAT by virtue of its Order dated 27.4.2005.
    • March 29
    • Government notified Spectrum Allotment Guidelines, which laid down a clear subscriber linked roadmap for allotment of spectrum upto 15MHz for GSM operators and upto 7.5 MHz for CDMA operators on a service area wise basis. As per the guidelines, the active subscribers and peak traffic averaged over a month (for a minimum of 40mErlangs per subscriber) in the Visitor Location Register (VLR) would be taken into account for allotment of spectrum.
    • April 13
    • COAI and AUSPI came together on a common platform to set up the Apex Advisory Council for Telecom in India (ACT) to oversee and ensure that proper subscriber verification process was followed by all Service providers. ACT laid down a 4-stage process to be followed before activation of a new mobile connection.
    • April 13
    • TRAI submitted its Recommendations for permitting usage of * and # in provisioning of value added intra-network services like USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) by Access Providers, recommending that relevant provisions of NNP-2003, viz. clause 1.6 of Introduction Part and Numbers for Special Services described in Annex IV, be elaborated and clarified so that the usage of special characters * & # is explicitly allowed in provisioning of intra-network value added services.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Recommendations/49/recomm13apr06.pdf
    • April 17
    • COAI submitted its Post Budget Memorandum to Ministry of Finance and DoT; submitting that the following announcements made by Ministry of Finance would hamper telecom growth and hence needed to be reconsidered. The areas of concern included withdrawal of Exemptions Under Section 10 (23 (G)) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, increase in limit of MAT u/s 115JB from 8.42% to 11.22% of the book profits and imposition of 8% CVD on Telecom Software.
    • April 18
    • TRAI issued a Directive to all Access Providers, NLDOs and ILDOs on reporting of International Long Distance Traffic Minutes, directing all Service providers to submit the requisite reports on ILD Traffic Minutes (both in hard and soft copies) on monthly basis w.e.t. March 2006 and onwards by 25th day of the succeeding month regularly in the prescribed formats to TRAI with a copy endorsed to Director.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Directives/72/dir28apr06.pdf
    • May 3
    • TDSAT dismissed COAI review application against the TDSAT order of Nov 11, 2005 (in Petition 48 of 2004) on the grounds that it was satisfied that the Tribunal had not committed any error which can be rectified in a review application, nor was its finding is based on any erroneous assumption of facts.
    • May 17
    • TRAI wrote to COAI conveying its decision inter alia in the following matters – Charges for Intra circle calls handed over by cellular operators at Level II TAX-TRAI reconfirmed that a flat charge of Rs. 0.20 per minute irrespective of distance would continue to be applicable in the IUC regime notified on 23.2.2006. Levy of revenue share to national and international roaming calls terminated on the network of BSNL – TRAI stated that such revenue share was not prescribed by TRAI in its IUC Regulation, but as BSNL had extended the same on a reciprocal basis and also mentioned that its circular contained call scenarios not addressed under the TRAI Regulation, the Authority would address this issue separately.
    • May 24
    • The Department of Telecommunication formed an Interconnection Working Group consisting of Joint Secretary (T), DoT, DDG (BS), DoT, Director (O), BSNL, Mr. TV Ramachandran, COAI and Mr. SC Khanna, AUSPI to review the present status of provisioning of interconnection and the existing license provisions relating to interconnection and also suggest appropriate actions for speedy interconnection.
    • May 30
    • In a writ petition filed in respect of alleged health and safety hazards in setting up cellular towers, Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana while adjourning the petition Sine Die to await the decision of the Supreme Court in respect of the Writ filed by Karma Jyot Seva Trust, directed by way of a non-speaking order that there will be no further construction of any tower except in the non-residential area and that too after the necessary sanction has been taken as per the Policy.
    • May 31
    • ACT launched a subscriber re-verification initiative, requiring all member operators to undertake a re-verification of their existing prepaid subscriber base, as existing on may 31, 2005.
    • June 1
    • Government accepted TRAI’s recommendations regarding use of special characters *, #, $ etc. from subscriber’s terminal within the network of intra access service licensee/ cellular mobile telephony service licensee/ basic service licensee for provisioning for intra network value added services or accessing/ provisioning of high-speed data service.
    • June 5
    • COAI organized a Seminar on Economics of Interconnection, which highlighted inter alia how a cost based interconnect regime can play a significant role in expansion of service.
    • June 9
    • BSNL issued a Circular, implemented a flat carriage charge of Rs. 0.20 per minute irrespective of distance in respect of intra-circle cellular calls handed over to BSNL at Level II TAX. BSNL also stated that this would be implemented with effect from March 1, 2006.
    • June 12
    • GSMA Board Meeting in India. COAI actively participated in the vents around the GSMA Board Meeting.
    • June 30
    • India joined the elite club of 100 million Cellular Subscribers.
    • July 1
    • DoT/WPC announced simplified procedure for SACFA clearances whereunder all antenna towers/masts located beyond 7 kms from the nearest airport and having a total height of upto 40 meters only needed to be registered online on WPC/SACFA website and necessary clearances would be issued by the SACFA Secretariat. The procedure also provided that henceforth the geo-coordinates and AMSL information required to be submitted in the SACFA applications could be obtained by the operators using a standard GPS receiver, instead of having to wait for the same to be provided by the Survey of India.
    • July 5
    • Flagship shared sites set up under the aegis of Project “MOST”- Mobile Operators Shared Towers were inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of Urban Development, Shri. Jaipal Reddy and Hon’ble Minister of Communications & IT, Thiru Dayanidhi Maran. The project was initiated by the industry in March 2006 at the behest of the Minister in order to avail of the rich benefits of Infrastructure Sharing.
    • July 7
    • In Petition No.111 of 2005 filed by BPL, Hon’ble TDSAT upheld the principle of reciprocity in respect of interest on delayed IUC payments, holding that in the light of their order dated 11/11/2005 in Petition No.48 of 2004, they saw no reason why the formality of migrating to a new RIO based interconnect agreement should hold up implementation of reciprocity in regard to interest on delayed payments to either side.
    • July 11
    • In Petition No.111 of 2005 filed by BPL, Hon’ble TDSAT upheld the principle of reciprocity in respect of interest on delayed IUC payments, holding that in the light of their order dated 11/11/2005 in Petition No.48 of 2004, they saw no reason why the formality of migrating to a new RIO based interconnect agreement should hold up implementation of reciprocity in regard to interest on delayed payments to either side.
    • July 17
    • TRAI issued a Directive to Cellular Mobile Service providers and Unified Access Service Providers to comply with National Numbering Plan, indicating that the short codes used by Service Providers are not permissible under National Numbering Plan thus, it amounts to violation of the National Numbering Plan.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Directives/79/direction17july06.pdf
    • July 19
    • In its Interim Order in Appeal No. 9 of 2005 (BSNL versus TRAI), Hon’ble TDSAT directed BSNL to provide interconnection within 90 days of receiving the necessary amounts from the interconnection seeker and if for any reason, BSNL was not in a position to provide such interconnection within the stipulated period, it would intimate the same to TRAI and the interconnection seeker, the reasons for the same. TDSAT also directed that during the pendency of the appeal, BSNL should give quarterly reports to TRAI on the interconnection provided or not provided along with reasons for the same.
    • July 26
    • COAI made a submission to TRAI’s Consultation Paper on Allocation and Pricing of Spectrum for 3G Services and Broadband Wireless Access Charges for 3G Spectrum emphasizing that 3G should be only in the globally harmonized 2.1 GHz band and submitting that charges for 3G spectrum should be nominal so that it does not increase the cost of the services. COAI proposed that TRAI may consider the cost of re-farming 2.1 GHz spectrum as the basis for determining the fee for 3G. COAI also voiced its serious reservations and strong objections to the reconsideration of the mixed band plan.
    • July 31
    • TRAI issued a Directive on Certificate of Compliance in respect of Directions issued by TRAI, stating that it is necessary to obtain periodical certificate of Compliance from the service providers in order to ensure that those directions, which are perpetual in nature, are complied with by all the service providers.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Directives/80/Direction31aug06.pdf
    • August 9
    • COAI made a presentation to TRAI on AGR Related Issues requesting TRAI to review the framework for determination of AGR and ensure that any revenue stream arising as a consequence of activity outside the purview of license should not be included in the AGR.
    • August 16
    • TRAI issued a Consultation Paper on Tariff Plans with Lifetime Validity. The key purpose of the Consultation Process was to address the issues of long-term viability and sustainability of the lifetime validity tariff packages that had been introduced in the market, with a view to protecting the interests of consumers.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/cpaper16jan06.pdf
    • August 19
    • TRAI issued a Directive to All Access Providers, NLDOs and ILDOs on reporting of International Long Distance Traffic Minutes,.directing them to report the traffic minutes on monthly basis as per the recommended formats, w.e.f. the month of January 2006.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/dir20jan06.htm
    • August 21
    • TRAI issued its Decision on Consultation Paper No. 10/2006 dated 13th June 2006 regarding Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC) for Short Message Service (SMS) maintaining forbearance on IUC charges for SMS. TRAI however stated that service providers should widely publicize the tariff for premium SMS and also hoped that operators would voluntarily reduce the charges for premium SMS.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Directives/89/SMS%20Final%20Decision.pdf
    • August 21
    • In the Special Leave Filed by COAI in Supreme Court challenging the Interim order of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, which directed that there will be no further construction of towers except in non-residential areas and that too, after necessary sanction had been taken as per policy, Hon’ble Supreme Court granted leave to file the SLP and directed status quo to be maintained in respect of existing towers.
    • August 31
    • India for the first time surpassed China in terms of monthly subscriber additions adding nearly 6 million subscribers in the month of August.
    • September 6
    • COAI held a Press Conference in Chandigarh on the importance of Cellular Towers for mobile Communication. The presentation made by COAI highlighted that there was no conclusive evidence of any adverse health impact from towers and that these towers were structurally stable and set up in conformance with designs certified by reputed agencies.
    • September 11
    • TRAI issued its Decision on admissibility of Revenue share between Visiting Network and Terminating Network for Roaming Calls reiterating that there is no justification for a revenue share arrangement and reconfirming that the terminating operator should only get the termination charge as prescribed in the Regulation.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Directives/90/Decision11sep06.pdf
    • September 21
    • TRAI submitted its Recommendations to TDSAT on components of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR), recommending that revenue accruing both direct and indirect from activities under the Licence should form part of the AGR, revenues from verifiable non-licensed activity should be excluded, proper audit trails should be available for items which are to be excluded from AGR, revenue from bundled sale of goods and services to be considered as part of AGR unless sale of goods is clearly discernible and services offered remain unaltered even on a stand alone basis, etc.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/Recommendations_content.asp?id=63
    • September 27
    • TRAI submitted its Recommendations on Allocation and Pricing of Spectrum for 3G and Broadband Wireless Access Services recommending inter alia that 3G Spectrum should be treated as a stand alone allocation; 3G Spectrum should be allocated from 450 MHz, 800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands; allocation should be through a prescribed auction procedure, there should be a rural rollout obligation. TRAI recommended that the base price for 5MHz of 2.1 GHz spectrum should be Rs. 80 crores for Delhi, Mumbai and Category A Circles; Rs. 40 crores fro Kolkata, Chennai and Category B Circles and Rs. 15 crores for Category C Circles and that the spectrum should be allotted through a simultaneous ascending auction. TRAI also recommended that DoT may verify the technical feasibility of the mixed band plan.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Recommendations/64/MNP.pdf
    • September 27
    • In a telemarketing matter, the Ld. State Commission passed an interim order stating inter alia that Service Providers ought not to disclose mobile numbers of customers to Banks / Finance Companies and also not to send messages on telephone to their consumers including demand of telephone bills; If any calls are made by the Banks / Finance Companies or Service Providers presumption will be raised that privacy of the subscribers has been infringed by the Service Provider; heavy punitive damages will be levied on the Service Providers as also on those who make these calls; messaging and making unsolicited calls amounts to unfair trade practice, causes nuisance and mental agony and if the Service Providers need to inform their consumers about anything they should do so in writing; etc .
    • September 28
    • TRAI issued a Directive on Non-Compliance of TRAI's decision dated 23rd August 2006 on IUC for SMS directing all CMSPs/ UASLs to furnish their compliance report to TRAI within 15 days, failing which necessary legal action might be initiated.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Directives/88/directionFN.pdf
    • October 19
    • In the port charges matter pending adjudication before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, BSNL’s stay application was allowed by the Hon’ble Court.
    • October 30
    • TRAI issued a Draft Regulation on Intelligent Network Services in Multi Operator, Multi Network Scenario, stating that licensed Access Service Providers shall connect their equipment, networks and services to enable their customers to have access to the Intelligent Network of other Service Providers.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Regulations/58/regulation30oct06FN.pdf
    • October 30
    • COAI submitted its Proposals for the Union Budget 2007-08. Key issues discussed were to continue with exemptions Under Section 10 (23G) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, to decrease the MAT limit u/s 115JB, which has been increased from 8.42% to 11.22% of the book profits, TDS and Service Tax should not be applicable on IUC Charges, Service Tax should not be levied on In-roamers, waiver 8% CVD on Telecom Software, etc.
    • November 3
    • WPC issued Order notifying a sharp hike in Microwave Access and Microwave Backbone Charges.
    • November 6
    • In the writ filed by COAI against the Interim order of the Learned State Commission on the issue of telemarketing, the Hon'ble High Court was pleased to stay the operation of the order of the State Commission. The Court directed that an Application be filed to make TRAI and the Association of Banks as parties. The Court also directed all the Cellular Operators to send SMSes to all their subscribers informing them that DND facility is available which can be availed of by the Subscribers.
    • November 11
    • In the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by COAI in Supreme Court challenging the Interim order of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, which directed that there will be no further construction of towers, except in non-residential areas and that too after necessary sanction had been taken as per policy. The Hon’ble supreme Court granted a full stay on the impugned Order.
    • November 15
    • COAI submitted its Position Paper for Allotment of 2G Spectrum to DoT laying down the hierarchy in which spectrum in 1800 MHz band should be allotted. COAI also fully endorsed the subscriber linked criteria followed by the Government.
    • November 17
    • TRAI issued a Consultation Paper on Domestic Leased Circuits Market in India. The key issues raised for Consultation were related to promotion of competition in country's Domestic Leased Circuits market including status of present DLC infrastructure, competition scenario, various regulatory issues and international practices.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/ConsultationPapers/94/consultationpaper17nov06.pdf
    • November 21
    • COAI submitted its response to TRAI’s Draft Regulation on Regulation on Intelligent Network Services in Multi Operator, Multi Network Scenario; submitting that charging, billing and sharing of revenues should be through mutual commercial arrangements and there should be reciprocity in inter operator settlement rates. COAI also submitted that more clarity is required on the issue of architecture, seeker/ provider, allowed/ disallowed services, technical and business issues.
    • November 22
    • DoT issued Supplementary Guidelines on Subscriber Verification.
    • November 27
    • TRAI issued a Regulation on Intelligent Network Services in Multi Operator and Multi Network Scenario, stating that the specified innovative service made available through IN will not be restricted to the telecom service providers who have deployed the Intelligent Network platform but will also be available to subscribers of other operators.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/Regulations/59/regulation27nov06.pdf
    • November 29
    • TRAI issued a Consultation Paper on Infrastructure Sharing. The key issues raised for Consultation were sharing of passive infrastructure, innovative schemes to encourage infrastructure sharing, sharing of active Infrastructure, Role of Mobile Virtual Network operator (MVNO), reduction in roll out cost, encouraging deployment of non-conventional sources of energy in rural areas, etc.
      http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/ConsultationPapers/98/consultationpaper29nov06.pdf
    • November 30
    • COAI made a submission to the Government on TRAI’s recommendations on 3G spectrum, submitting inter alia that as 3G was a direct evolution from 2G, all existing mobile operators/licensees must be entitled to 3G spectrum for their evolution and growth; 3G would be an important factor in achieving Government’s targets of 250 million subscribers by 2007 and 500 million by 2010; spectrum for 3G should be allocated once at least 2X5 MHz is available for all existing mobile operators/licensees; 2G voice telephony was growing at an exponential rate and the need of the hour was to make available additional 2G spectrum to cater to the growth of voice services; auctions should be avoided at all costs as they would not only raise the cost of service, negating the tremendous capacity advantages of 3G but also discriminate between licensees ; spectrum usage charges should be fixed at a flat 2% of AGR; there was no justification or relevance of a field trial for mixed band plan allocations; existing license cannot attract fresh rollout obligations, etc.
    • December 14
    • TDSAT pronounced its Judgment in the Four States Differential Tariff Matter. TDSAT dismissed the appeal of COAI holding that the operators did not make adequate efforts; that DoT and BSNL could also have been more pro-active and that the clause on non-discrimination was very clear and differential tariffs was a clear case of discrimination for the same class of subscribers.
    • December 26
    • TDSAT pronounced its Judgment in the Four States Differential Tariff Matter. TDSAT dismissed the appeal of COAI holding that the operators did not make adequate efforts; that DoT and BSNL could also have been more pro-active and that the clause on non-discrimination was very clear and differential tariffs was a clear case of discrimination for the same class of subscribers.
    • December 28
    • COAI submitted its response to TRAI on its Consultation Paper on Review of Ceiling Tariffs for roaming Services; submitting inter alia that tariffs should be viewed in a holistic manner, roaming was a Value Added Service and revenues from roaming were an important source for recovering costs and maintaining sustainability. COAI recommended that TRAI should forbear on roaming tariffs and that if it was desirous of further enhancing competition in roaming, it could recommend that roaming be made mandatory for all Service Provide