Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No more roaming charges - New Telecom Policy

Telecom minister Kapil Sibal unveiled the draft National Telecoms Policy 2011, containing new rules for the sector. This new policy would replace the existing framework that has been in place since 1999.

In a move that could help ease pressure on big carriers that have been rapidly adding users to increasingly crowded airwaves, India's new telecoms policy will allow carriers to share and trade spectrum.

The draft plan also advocates one nation, one license across services and service areas; this would imply that roaming charges would soon be done away with.

The policy proposes to introduce a stronger customer grievance redressal mechanism, recognize telecoms as an infrastructure sector giving it tax concessions, and extend preferential status to 'Made in India' hardware products.

It will also include a policy for allowing operators to exit the market, telecoms minister said, which could eventually lead to consolidation in an industry where more than a dozen players compete, keeping tariffs and margins low.

India's new telecoms policy will focus on building access in rural areas and promoting the domestic production of equipment, Sibal said.

India decided to overhaul its decade-old rules for the industry after alleged rigging in the grant of licences in 2007/08 came to light late last year, which the CAG said could have cost the government as much as $39 billion in revenue.

The policy will focus on convergence of TV, internet and internet services. Broadband download speed will be revised to 512 kbps vs 216 kbps. Sibal said that the government will audit the use of spectrum.

Source: http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/New-Telecom-Policy-No-roaming-yahoofinancein-2175859066.html

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