13 April, 2021

Many Access To Grind

It's a dialogue of the deaf as everybody hangs up on everybody else

Many Access To Grind
It just gets messier by the day. In the acrimonious brawl between telecom operators, and between them and the regulator, fresh solutions immediately lead to new problems. Last fortnight was no different, after cellular firms refused to connect calls made to their subscribers by those using the WLL (wireless in local loop) technology. In retaliation, the WLL operators (including MTNL and BSNL) too refused to connect cellular calls made to their networks, and in the case of MTNL and BSNL, to landline networks, also owned by them.

Mr Customer was caught in in the middle, as for two days, cellular and basic services consumers couldn't make calls to each other. Union communications minister Pramod Mahajan, who reportedly prompted the state-owned MTNL and BSNL to hit back, flew in from Egypt and forced the warring factions to smoke the peace pipe. Even as consumers heaved a sigh of relief, Mahajan's intervention led to a new controversy. This time, the bone of contention is about how much the basic (landline) and WLL operators will pay the cellular companies for connecting calls...
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