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Reliance gets a reminder

New Delhi, Nov. 5: The department of telecommunications (DoT) today shot off another letter to Reliance Infocomm asking it to pay Rs 221 crore within 21 days — the additional entry fee for offering wireless-in-local-loop mobile service. A similar letter is likely to be sent to Tata Teleservices for offering limited mobile service.

Industry observers feel that the move will effectively weaken the case filed by the cellular mobile operators in the Supreme Court against the majority order of the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) upholding the limited mobility service offered by basic operators. The case will come up for hearing on Friday.

DoT had sent a letter to Reliance Infocomm on Tuesday asking it to pay Rs 485 crore as penalty and additional entry fee for offering limited mobility and full mobile-like services.

The Rs 221-crore entry fee for WiLL (M) will be part of the Rs 1,581 crore that the company has to pay for migrating to a unified telecom licence regime.

Last week, the cabinet had asked the basic service providers offering wireless-in-local-loop mobile (WiLL-M) or limited mobile service to pay an additional entry fee for offering this service.

Reliance Infocomm will now have to pay only Rs 264 crore as penalty for offering full mobile service plus Rs 1,096 crore as the migration cost for a unified licence. The migration cost is based on the fourth cellular licence fee minus the licence fee paid by the basic operator in that circle.

A senior Reliance Infocomm official said, “We have already committed that the directives of the government in regard to migration to a unified licence will be followed and our 5 million customers will not be affected. They will continue to get the same quality of service.”

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