State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL) decision to initiate action against private telecom operators for failing to pay carrier charges is wrong as there are no dues pending with private players, a cellular operators’ lobby said Saturday.
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.
Carrier charges are fees paid by mobile phone companies to fixed line operators for calls terminating on the fixed line operator’s network.
‘The projected outstanding demands by BSNL are not in accordance with TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) regulations and we believe there are no outstanding dues to BSNL in this regard,’ Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in a statement.
The COAI said that as per the telecom regulator’s Interconnect Usage Charges Regulation 2009, a private operator is expected to pay 35 paise per minute to terminate a call in the BSNL’s fixed line network, while BSNL is required to pay 20 paise for a call generating from BSNL’s fixed line network to private mobile operators.
‘Adding to the anomaly, BSNL is now seeking a higher termination charge of 40-85 paise per minute from the private mobile operators for termination of mobile calls to their fixed line network,’ the statement added.
It said that disconnecting the private operators interconnection by Rajasthan circle of BSNL will cause inconvenience to consumers of both private telcos and BSNL.