The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued its final consultation paper on unified licensing regime, which seeks to bring all the telecom services under one umbrella. The key objectives of the unified licensing/authorisation regime are to encourage free growth of new applications and services leveraging on the technological developments in the information and communication technology (ICT) area.
It may be recalled that the authority had issued a preliminary consultation paper on November 15, 2003. From the responses received on the questions raised in the preliminary consultation paper, there appears to be a general consensus on moving towards a unified licensing regime. However, there have been several comments on specific issues that require detailed examination before any decision is taken, TRAI has stated.
"The final consultation paper is based on the extensive analysis, comments received from various stakeholders on TRAI's preliminary consultation paper, study of market conditions and international trends. The objective of this consultation paper is to examine the various licensing, regulatory and level playing field issues in enabling a unified licensing regime," it has said.
It is envisaged that a new licensing regime - the unified licensing/authorisation regime - be implemented in which service providers may be able to offer any or all services, using technology of his/her choice with area of operation so defined as to promote greater participation of all types of big and small entrepreneurs.
The key objectives of the unified licensing/authorisation regime are to encourage free growth of new applications and services leveraging on the technological developments in the information and communication technology (ICT) area.
Other main objectives of the unified licensing regime are:
To simplify the procedure of licensing in the telecom sector.
To Ensure flexibility and efficient utilisation of resources keeping in mind the technological developments.
To encourage efficient small operators to cover niche areas in particular rural, remote and telecommunication facilities-wise less developed areas.
To ensure no worse off, level playing field and easy entry.