The new unified license guidelines issued by the telecom department bars cross-holding between mobile service providers and this will impact Vodafone India’s 5 percent holding in Bharti Airtel. The present norms allow telecom service providers to hold up to 10 percent equity in another operator in the same circle. Also Read - Mi Notebook Pro X to be Xiaomi's most expensive laptop yet, launch tomorrow
The guidelines replace the existing United Access Service License (UASL) regime. All the mobile phone firms will have to mandatorily move to the new regime. The new regime will allow telecom operators to offer any services under one permit. At present, these companies need to have different licenses for various types of services – internet, mobile and long distance calls – it provides. Once it is in place, unified licenses will free telecom players from technological limitations for various services they are providing. Also Read - Ola to offer free oxygen concentrators to the needy
The new guidelines also free spectrum from license, which be available with an entry fee of Rs 15 crore. Earlier the mobile service providers paid Rs 1,658 crore for obtaining countrywide mobile permits that came bundled with airwaves. Now airwaves will be sold through auction route.
Irrespective of the spectrum band held or technology used, the new regime will allow telecom service providers to enter into roaming pacts in the same or another service area.
But the companies will not be allowed to acquire any customers where they do not hold requisite licenses since it would amount to spectrum sharing which is not allowed, under the new unified license.