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Trai recommends single licensing system
October 27, 2003 15:44 IST
Last Updated: October 27, 2003 18:37 IST
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Monday recommended a single licensing system, called unified licensing regime, for basic landline and cellular telephony services.
Trai suggested to the government replacement of the existing licensing regime, where cellular and wireless phone service providers pay different fees to provide telephony services, with a unified license under which both basic and cellular operators will be allowed to offer both type of services without the formality of acquiring a separate license.
"The existing operators would have an option to continue under the present licensing regime (with present terms and conditions) or migrate to the new unified access licensing regime in the existing circle," Trai said.
The license fee, service area, roll out obligation and performance bank guarantee under the new unified license regime will be the same as for the existing cellular service provider.
The service provider migrating to unified regime would continue to provide wireless services in already allocated spectrum and no additional spectrum would be allocated under the migrated process.
While cellular operators will not be required to pay any further license fee for migrating to the new regime, the entry fee for basic/WLL service providers would be the difference between the license fee paid by the fourth cellular operator in the circle and the charges already paid by them.
The present system of licensing should be replaced by unified licensing/automatic authorisation regime, Trai said.
The objective of this is to be achieved in a two-stage process with the unified access regime for basic and cellular services in the first phase to be followed by a process to define the guidelines and rules for fully unified license encompassing other telecom services like WLL.
Under the new access regime, Trai recommended that Reliance Infocomm should pay additional penalty over and above the entry fee for already offering mobility services almost similar to the cellular mobile services.
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