: In a development that could make the
process simple and minimize the bureaucratic interference, the government is
mulling a single telecom licence in the place of 17 types of service-specific
licence would, however, be without spectrum necessary for mobile services.
Operators are free to apply for the single licence separately.
When asked how it would benefit the consumers, sources in the know said 17
types of services also include Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and if the
single licence regime comes any player can start a service that does not
require spectrum, leading to competition and resultant fall in tariff.
Now separate licences are given for telecom services, including basic,
cellular, unified access service, NLD, ILD, cable TV, DTH, TV and broadcasting
services, Internet telephony etc. All services covered under class licence, 'Licensing
through Authorisation’ and standalone Broadcasting & Cable licences.
There is a proposal that a single licence could be given at a nominal
registration fee and the player should be allowed to offer any kind of service
under the licence and allocation of spectrum should be delinked from that.
According to senior officials in the Department of Telecom (DoT), regulator
TRAI had recommended this some time back but was not considered.
Asked whether DoT has fixed any time frame for this, the officials said the
issue is being discussed.
First Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 16:07