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Telecom Commission meeting on Monday to discuss new licences

These new licences will be issued to companies that will win spectrum in auction due this year.

Updated: Aug 28, 2012, 21:52 PM IST

New Delhi: Inter-ministerial body Telecom Commission will meet on Monday to discuss proposed guidelines for unified licences that are to be issued to all telecom services providers.

"DoT committee (on Unified Licences) recommendations are being finalised. Telecom Commission will meet on September 3 to discuss them," Telecom Commission Chairman R Chandrashekhar, who is also Telecom Secretary said.

These new licences will be issued to companies that will win spectrum in auction due this year.
DoT had formed an internal committee to finalise draft guidelines for unified licences based on recommendations made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

These new licences are aimed at doing away with different kind of permits that are issued to telecom companies for offering various services.

Trai has also proposed to bring telecom tower companies under the licencing regime which had been opposed by firms operating in this segment.

The regulator has recommended bringing down foreign direct investment limit for infrastructure providers for telecom services to 74 percent from 100 percent at present, within a period of three years after Unified Licensing regime comes into force.

Trai estimates that bringing IP-I under the licensing regime will fetch the government revenues of around Rs 1,900 crore per year.

As per the recommendation, those companies who either want to provide telecom services themselves or are in the business of selling, leasing or renting their infrastructure to other telecom licensees, will need to have Unified Licences.

Under the licence condition, these companies will have to pay 8 percent annual licence fee on adjusted gross revenues which they are not required to pay at present.

The regulator has also recommended to issue Unified at three levels for National level, Service area level and District level.

One-time non-refundable entry fee for Unified Licence shall be Rs 15 crore for national level, Rs 1 crore for each service area level Unified Licences, except for Jammu and Kashmir and North East Service areas where entry fee will be Rs 50 lakh each.

For each District level Unified Licence, the regulator has requested non-refundable entry fee of Rs 10 lakh.

Earlier, Unified Access Services Licences were issued to mobile telephony providers for Rs 1,658 crore bundled with 4.4 Mhz spectrum, but the Unified Licences will not have spectrum bundled with them.