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NTP 2012 to be a boon for consumers: Experts

Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 21:14

New Delhi: The New Telecom Policy, which was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, will be a boon for consumers as they would be able to retain the number even when they migrate from one telecom circle to other, says consulting firm Deloitte.

The NTP 2012, which replaces more than decade-old rules aims to ultimately abolish roaming charges, besides bringing in transparency and growth in the Indian telecom sector.

In the short-term, however, the NTP may impact telecom operators negatively as they would lose out on the roaming revenue. "However, in the long run as usage would increase with no roaming charges might offset the revenue loss caused to the operators," Deloitte Haskins & Sells Partner Hemant Joshi said.

He said the government's plan to make roadmap for availability of spectrum every 5 years would result in appropriate allocation of spectrum.

It would also help operators design their network/technology adoption keeping in view the availability of spectrum, he added.

"NTP also envisages license and technology neutral spectrum allocation, which is step in right direction considering evolving efficient technologies," Joshi said.

"The NTP 2012 projects a bold vision for telecom sector with emphasis on spectrum management, broadband on demand, domestic manufacturing, rural coverage and infrastructure status, which would spur growth of the telecom sector and in turn Indian economy as telecom can play role of catalyst in the GDP growth," Joshi said.

He added that the approval has come at the right time as country's GDP growth is falling. The country's GDP growth has slowed down to 5.3 percent in January-March quarter, 2011-12, compared to 9.2 percent in the same period in 2010-11.

As per World Bank estimate, a 10 percent increase in telecom penetration results in 0.81 percent growth in GDP in a developing country.

The new policy broadband speed also mandates increasing broadband speed to minimum of 2 megabit per second (Mbps), with the change coming into force immediately.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) Region Head India Sandeep Girotra also welcomed the NTP, saying the focus on providing broadband for all, local manufacturing and security were steps in the right direction.

However, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament, expressed disappointment at the National Telecom Policy.

"The Cabinet approval of NTP 2012 and the unified licensing regime is welcome only because it ends the one-year delay that this policy has faced. Regrettably, neither the policy nor the unified licensing regime will resolve any of the crises that currently stalk the telecom sector," he said.


First Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 21:14
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