New Delhi: Telecom regulator TRAI on Friday proposed that operators need not pay entry fee for migrating to Unified Licences, a draft guideline which if implemented will provide relief to companies that offer only select services like Internet and cellular mobile services.
Releasing the draft guidelines for 'Unified Licence/Class Licence and Migration of Existing Licences', TRAI said, "For conversion to the Unified Licence (Restricted), there shall be no additional entry fee to be paid the by the licencee."
"All existing telecom licences on their expiry will be automatically converted in to Unified Licence (Restricted)."
There are various telecom licences but most of them are for providing only select services like Internet services, national and international long distance connectivity.
There are also firms that hold Unified Access Services Licences. They can provide all kinds of telecom services.
The Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) has also proposed that in case a unified licence (restricted) wants to expand its boquette of service they will have to apply for Unified Licence.
"A holder of Unified Licence (Restricted) shall have the option to apply for and migrate to a Unified Licence." The draft said.
It added that in case a holder of Unified Licence (Restricted) desires to expand or alter the services offered or service area of operations, it shall be required to migrate to Unified Licence but will have pay the prescribed entry fee.
The Regulator has proposed an entry fee of Rs 20 crore for national level, Rs 2 crore for each Metro and 'A' category, Rs 1 crore for each B category, Rs 50 lakh for each C category service areas and Rs 15 lakh for each district level Unified Licence.
A company seeking migration from Unified Licence (Restricted) to Unified License will have to pay portion of fee that will be fixed by TRAI on per annum basis. The total amount to be paid will be equal to the fixed fee multiplied by years of left for licence expiry.
These guidelines are in continuation with TRAI's recommendations on 'Spectrum Management and Licensing Framework' under which it has recommended that all future licences should be unified licences and that spectrum be delinked from the licence.
The government under draft National Telecom Policy 2011 has included this recommendation made by TRAI.
"DoT had requested TRAI to recommend the Unified Licence guidelines...TRAI was also requested to recommend modalities and guidelines for enabling existing UAS/CMTS/ISP/NLD...to migrate to National/Service Area level Unified Licence," TRAI Secretary Rajeev Agrawal said in a statement.
TRAI has asked stakeholders to send their comments and suggestions by February 24 and counter comments by February 29, 2012.
First Published: Friday, February 10, 2012, 22:44