Telcos need not wait for NTP to get fresh licences
Telecom companies seeking fresh licences need not wait for the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 to come in force as they can get it after guidelines for Unified Licences are finalised by the Department of Telecommunications.
New Delhi: Telecom companies seeking fresh licences need not wait for the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 to come in force as they can get it after guidelines for Unified Licences are finalised by the Department of Telecommunications.
"Unified Licences (new type of licence) does not require NTP to be in place...," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar told reporters on sidelines of World IT Forum 2012.
The government has proposed to introduce new licencing regime of 'Unified Licences' under new telecom policy and provide a migration mechanism for existing telecom licensees into Unified Licence regime.
The objective proposed under NTP 2012 will require new kind of licences and DoT is looking at aspects to create synchronisation between Unified Licences (UL) and new telecom policy along with spectrum pricing and recommendation of auction, which is due from Trai.
"NTP would to some extent require different kind of licensing regime. We are taking a look at all of them so that the decision in final phase is comprehensive and consistent with each other. As we go to final decision-making phase, we are going to keep all the four in view," Chandrashekhar said.
He said the draft cabinet note for NTP 2012 is ready but it has not been sent for immediate approval as DoT is now looking at area of NTP which has some linkages with the directions of the Supreme Court (judgement that cancelled 122 2G Licences) with the UL and spectrum pricing policy.
"There are three to four things we are looking at holistically now. In the next month or two at the most, we will get decision on all of them," Chandrashekhar.
Telecom Secretary said that DoT is done with all regulatory filings and it actively focussing on auction of spectrum at the earliest possible time.
He said DoT has received Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) recommendation on UL and is awaiting its recommendations on Auction of Spectrum.
"We want to react very fast when recommendations (Auction of Spectrum) come. It will then clear the path for finalising our view on both the auction and UL. We have been doing preparatory meetings to look in to (these) issues," he said.
Explaining the need of clarificatory petition, he said it was done "to bring to the notice of the court between the time frame when licences get and completion of the auction. There could be disruption in services of the consumers."
DoT has formed a working group under Member (Technology) J K Roy to study and give its view on UL which have been recommended by Trai to be de-linked with spectrum.
A National level UL for all kind of telecom services will be issued for Rs 15 crore instead of earlier telecom licences that were issued for around Rs 1,658 across bundled with spectrum.