The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Telecom regulator pulls up MTNL

New Delhi, Jan. 22: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today pulled up Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) for blocking calls from cellular mobile users during the tense standoff last week.

In a letter sent to MTNL chairman and managing director Narendra Sharma, the regulator has asked the government-owned telecom company to explain why the networks in many parts of the capital were choked.

It also wanted to know whether the phone-line congestion was because of technical reasons and, if so, why the company had failed to come out with the details.

MTNL spokesperson said, “We have not yet received any letter from the regulator but we will certainly reply as and when it is received.”

The regulator has been talking tough and had recently issued a show-cause notice to private cellular operators asking them to explain why they had failed to comply with its directive to restore interconnection links with the basic operators and the limited mobility players.

The cellular operators had blocked all the calls from limited mobile services of MTNL and Tata Teleservices and the regulator had directed them to restore interconnection.

In another related development, the Association of Basic Telecom Operators (ABTO) has shot off another letter today protesting against the cellular industry’s reciprocal access charges.

“At the outset, we would like to state that this is an absurd demand and really is a means to enrich cellular operators at the expense of the consumers of basic telecom services. The latter as you know is burdened with all the social objectives of the country’s tele-density targets,” states the letter from ABTO to Trai.

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