comscore Government plans to scrap wireless operating license for telecom operators: Manoj Sinha
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Government plans to scrap wireless operating license for telecom operators: Manoj Sinha

Telecom operators currently require a separate license for installing and operating base stations and other wireless equipment. The government plans to eliminate the wireless operating license so that telcos can do business hassle free and to avoid duplication of licenses.

  • Published: October 27, 2016 11:26 AM IST
spectrum-auction

In a bid to facilitate ease of doing business, government is considering doing away with the ‘wireless operating license’ for access service providers, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said today. “Government is considering doing away with the wireless operating license for access service providers,” Sinha said at the opening session of a conference organized by global mobile industry body GSMA. Government is also in the process of notifying rules for ‘right of way’ and installation of towers, the minister added. At present, the telecom service providers have to obtain a separate license for installing and operating base stations as also other wireless equipment, which is already covered as part of their main licenses like the Unified Access Service License. Also Read - BSNL loss widens to Rs 7,992 cr in 2017-18

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Hence the move to do away with a separate “wireless operating license” would reduce the hassles for telecom operators, a Telecom Ministry official said. Since this is already covered under the access service license, a separate wireless operating license only leads to “duplicacy”, the official pointed out. Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has been making representation to Government for removal of this license, saying it would facilitate ease of doing business and avoid duplication of licenses, industry sources said.

Meanwhile, the minister said the government is committed to assigning spectrum won by operators in the current auctions, by November 19, that is, within 30 days of payment. India has one of the lowest call rates ensuring affordability for the common man, he said. The mobile has “transformed” everyday life, Sinha said, adding that the country is at the threshold of mobile data revolution. “With the intent of facilitating ease of doing business and making more resources available, the Department has taken many initiatives… Spectrum trading and sharing has been permitted along-with sharing of active infrastructure such as base stations,” he pointed out. ALSO READ: Telcos must improve service or face action: Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha

Other initiatives taken by the Government include allowing paperless acquisition of subscribers based on eKYC norms, permitting virtual network operators, and harmonization of spectrum for its efficient utilization, among others. “These initiatives address the concerns of the industry and are investment-friendly, reducing cost of doing business, improving regulatory compliance and enabling faster acquisition of subscribers,” Sinha pointed out. ALSO READ: Telecom companies pay over Rs 32,000 to DoT for spectrum purchase

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  • Published Date: October 27, 2016 11:26 AM IST



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