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September 18, 1999
Paging industry also calls for CPP regimeThe beleaguered paging industry has called for scrapping licence fee for service providers and said the calling-party-pays regime should be implemented for radio paging services along with cellular industry on equal footing.
The Indian Paging Services Association has demanded that the licence fee for obligation of city paging service providers for the first three years should be reduced by at least 50 per cent and licence fee on the basis of revenue sharing should be started thereafter.
"All is being done to bring down the cost of premium services meant for higher income segment of the society but nothing has been done for paging services that are supposed to be for the masses," IPSA President Yogendra Modi has complained.
Once the CPP system is implemented on November 1 and new tariffs come into place, a substantial part of existing paging subscribers would migrate to cellular services because they would not find the differential in pricing enough to continue with a pager, it is argued.
The paging industry will not be able to add additional subscribers because its cost would continue to be high, Modi points out. He has warned that this might lead to cellular services eventually monopolising mobile communications in India.
The government must ensure viability for both paging and cellular services and make both bankable so that additional investment for financial institutions and investors can be attracted in paging industry as well.
Modi said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India must regulate competition for some years for the sake of consumer interests.
The IPSA comprises 15 paging service providers that have invested Rs 12 billion so far. There are 750,000 pager users in India.
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