Saturday, Jul 19, 2003
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Cellular company officials further said they were not opposed to developments in technology. If the Government was serious about moving towards convergence, it should have planned for a `convergence licence' that takes into account the inevitable convergence of the information, communications and entertainment (ICE) sectors.
Having issued a consultation paper on the subject earlier this week, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman, Pradip Baijal, defended the concept and assured that the views of companies and citizens will be processed impartially.
Mr. Baijal did not favour a challenge to the concept of unified licensing. The fundamental intention was to benefit the consumer and though the concerns of the cellular sector were genuine, ``the TRAI Act puts the customer above the industry. If tariff does not come down, there is no growth.''
Despite the TRAI chief's clear backing for the concept, the cellular industry came out with a written rejoinder later in the day. It questioned the timing and narrow definition of unified licensing in TRAI's consultation paper. The TRAI has fixed August 7 as the last date for submission of views followed by open-house sessions in different parts of the country. It will then hold in-house deliberations before coming out with its recommendations.
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