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Unified licence framework to take a month: Telecom Secretary

Last Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 18:20

New Delhi: Government will finalise within a month the framework for unified licencing (UL) that will enable users to get a host of services such as mobile, landline, DTH and cable TV from a single company without the entity necessarily owning the full infrastructure.

The regime will be finalised after considering all the legal options, Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar said Thursday.

"UL documents need legal vetting. It should take around one month," Chandrasekhar told reporters here.

Once the UL framework comes into force, telecom companies holding the licence will be able to provide all services that existing licences permit as well as share spectrum and other active part of telecom infrastructure that were not permitted earlier.

Telecom service providers who want to provide any additional service apart from current offerings will have to go for unified licence. In case of merger and acquisitions also, companies need to go for unified licence.

When asked if telecom auction can be conducted in April, he said, "It may take some more time."

Last week, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had said the government is likely to finalise the framework for UL in 8-10 days.

"It's (UL) been cleared and now we are in the process of finalising it, we than send it to the Ministry of Law and hopefully we should have a decision in eight-ten days," Sibal had said during the National Editors Conference here.

"The regime has changed. Thursday the licence and spectrum are two separate things, previously the spectrum was with the licence at a cost of Rs 1,658 crore, Thursday they are separate ... All the operators have to migrate to UL," Sibal had said.

The concept of unified licence is that players are free to provide all telecom services with one licence. However, these licences will not have spectrum bundled with them.


First Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 18:20
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