New Delhi: In a respite to new telecom service providers, who are operating in the highly competitive market dominated by incumbent GSM players, sectoral regulator TRAI on Thursday said it will come out with a paper seeking views on
exit policy for such players.
"I expect to issue pre-consultation paper on exit policy by the end of this month," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman J S Sarma told reporters on the sidelines of India Telecom Summit, organised jointly by the Telecom Ministry and industry body Ficci.
The exit policy will allow new players, who wish to quit the crowded Indian telecom industry, which has as many as 12-13 players in certain circles, to surrender their spectrum and licences.
Under current licencing norms, there is no exit route offered to operators who have taken a telecom licence.
A pan-India operator presently has to pay Rs 1,650 crore for a licence, but has no option to surrender it, along with the start-up spectrum of 4.4 Mhz, with no clause to get money back from the government.
Many new operators have either not launched services or have limited service available. The introduction of an exit policy will give respite to these players.
Incumbent operators are also in support of such a policy as they feel that such a move will help in freeing spectrum, which is a scarce commodity and can be used by others for expanding their operations.
On consumer grievance redressal, Sarma said the Authority would come out with the final recommendations by this month-end as well.
"We will surely come out with final guidelines on consumer grievance redressal by December-end," he said.
In July, TRAI had came out with draft regulations on consumer protection and redressal framework to protect the interest of users, and had stressed upon timely redressal of their problems.
TRAI had also asked all service providers to set up compliant centres within 60 days of implementation of the proposed regulation and provide service to consumers in regional languages.
TRAI had suggested that operators also establish a web-based complaint monitoring system, so that customers can monitor their complaint.
First Published: Thursday, December 8, 2011, 19:36