The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has released the Draft Telecom Bill 2022. If this bill is passed and framed into an act, then it is how the telecom sector will be governed. In the draft telecom bill 2022 which is now available for everyone to read on the DoT website, it is mentioned that spectrum can be allocated in multiple ways including: a) auction process, b) administrative allocation, and c) in any other manner as may be prescribed.
The telcos have been very much against the spectrum being allocated in an administrative manner, so it would be interesting to see their reaction to this. The draft bill also says that the central government would permit the sharing, trading, leasing and surrender of spectrum, subject to the terms of conditions, including applicable fees and charges. In case there's a situation of insolvency, the spectrum would return to the goverment control.
The draft bill is up for public and stakeholders consultation until October 20, 2022. Further, the government has enlarged the definition of telecom services which as per the draft bill includes OTT (over-the-top) communication services such as Telegram, WhatsApp, Signal and more.
The draft bill also suggests that the government has the right to waive partly or fully any fee, including license fees, entry fee, registration fee and more. This could mean more tech companies entering the sector by securing telecom license the way Cisco's Webex did in India.