COAI Hails Government’s Move to Abolish Wireless Operating License Requirement

Cellular Operators Association of India, said, We are enthused by this strategic move by the Government, which is in continuation of the outlook for reform-based changes to the policy and regulatory landscape for the Indian telecom sector.

Highlights

  • Minister Vaishnaw unveils telecom reforms, abolishing WOL requirement.
  • COAI praises government's reform-based approach.
  • WOL abolition expected to ease regulatory burden and expedite network rollout.

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COAI Hails Government's Move to Abolish Wireless Operating License Requirement
Minister of Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw announced telecom reforms during the IMC 2024 curtain raiser on Monday, including the spectrum regulatory sandbox and the complete abolition of the Wireless Operating License (WOL). These reforms further simplify the licensing processes in telecom, paving the way for a streamlined regulatory regime and enabling faster rollout of networks in the country. In continuation of this, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) released a memorandum titled "Removal of Requirement to Obtain Wireless Operating License (WOL)" on Tuesday.

Also Read: Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Unveils Telecom Reforms, Including Spectrum Sandbox




DoT Issues Memorandum on WOL Elimination

According to a notification issued by DoT dated March 11, the requirement to obtain a WOL for Captive Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Closed User Group (CUG) and CMRTS licenses, Unified License (UL), and Unified License (Virtual Network Operator) with authorizations of National Long Distance (NLD), International Long Distance (ILD), Public Mobile Radio Trunking Service (PMRTS), Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS), Internet Service, and Machine to Machine (M2M) service has been removed with immediate effect.

"However, for entities who intend to establish or operate a transmitting station and have not been granted any license under section 4 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, WOL will continue to be required as per the existing procedure," DoT said.

COAI Lauds Government's Move

The Telecom Industry body, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said, "We are enthused by this strategic move by the Government, which is in continuation of the outlook for reform-based changes to the policy and regulatory landscape for the Indian telecom sector."

COAI said as per the government's official release, the requirement of WOL for licensees under section 4 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, has been abolished altogether, and no separate WOL is required by them for establishing, maintaining, or working of telecommunication, including radio equipment. "We understand that it includes the WOL for microwave frequency bands as well, which is a positive development for the industry."

Also Read: USOF, Prasar Bharati and ONDC Sign Tripartite MoU to Expand Digital Services in Rural India

Benefits of WOL Abolition

"By eliminating the need for wireless operating licenses, a simplified regulatory environment is expected to emerge, allowing for more focus on service enhancement and less on compliance, thus reducing the burden for TSPs and further easing the business for the sector. This would also enable faster rollout of networks and higher mobile broadband penetration for the country," S P Kochhar, Director-General of COAI, said.

Reported By

From Arts and Journalism background, Yashika closely monitors developments and updates in OTT Space.

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