Indian Telecom Minister Announces Action Plan for 100 Days

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Kipal Sibal, Union Telecom Minister has announced the action plan for next 100 days. Mr Sibal said that the " Action plan " has been worked so as to ensure that the common people gets telecommunication services at the reasonable cost, the Industry remains robust and the Government gets its share of revenue.

The "100 Day Action Plan" of the Departments of Telecommunications (DoT), on various issues such as MNP, 3G Mobile and Data Services including Video Call service by private operators, Wireless Broadband, 2G Spectrum allocation, MTNL/BSNL and Mobile Tower Radiation and National Telecom Policy 2011 was announced in a Press conference in New Delhi.

Plan of Action for DoT in details  as follows :

(1) The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will hold consultations with key stakeholders (Telecom operators) to evolve a clear and transparent regime covering Licensing,  Spectrum allocation, Tariffs/pricing, Linkage with roll out performance, Flexibility within licenses, Spectrum Sharing, Spectrum trading, MVNOs, Unlicensed bands, M&A, etc. in a technology agnostitc environment after due consideration of TRAI recommendations. In this regard, interest of the ‘Aam Aadmi’ would be the prime consideration.

(2) To ensure availability of Spectrum for telecom industry, dialogue will be initiated with Department of Space/Information & Broadcasting/Defence, PSUs on ‘Vacation of Spectrum’ and for identification of Defence Band and Defence Interest Zone. National Frequency Allocation Plan 2011 (NFAP) shall be released. Spectrum allocations, availability and status of pending applications for spectrum shall be published on the department’s web site.

(3) Immediate steps will be taken to resolve outstanding Security Issues. Steps will be taken to enable operators (private operators) to launch 3G Mobile and Data services in their entire plenitude without delay. Security issues regarding telecom equipment procurement, messenger services and subscriber verification will be resolved. Steps will be taken to establish the Central Monitoring System which will facilitate and prevent misuse of lawful interception facility.

(4) 11 years have passed since NTP ’99 and many changes have taken place thereafter. Action will be initiated to formulate a comprehensive ‘National Telecom Policy 2011’ including the recognition of Telecom as infrastructure and as an essential service, encouraging Green Telecom, steps to accelerate migration from IPv4 to IPv6 at the earliest, release of IPv6 standards by Telecom Engineering Centre for implementation in the country, etc.

(5) All possible efforts will be made to fill up Board Level vacancies in PSUs and for greater participation of BSNL/ MTNL and C-DOT in national and socially important programmes, while addressing structural issues, improving internal efficiency and financial performance of BSNL/ MTNL.

(6) Country-wide launch of ‘ Mobile Number Portability ’ (MNP).

(7) Vigorous measures will be taken to address public concerns about health hazards due to the EMF radiation from Mobile towers including laying down relevant standards, supplementing equipment with TERM Cells and ensuring adequate field-testing.

(8) Formulation of a package of measures to promote ‘Manufacturing of telecom equipment in the country.

(9) Launch of a ‘ Wireless Broadband Scheme ’ by USOF to provide wireless broadband coverage to about 5 lakh villages, leveraging the existing passive infrastructure created for mobile telephony in rural and remote areas.

(10) Concrete steps towards finalization of ‘National Broadband Plan’ including strategy for implementation and initiation of steps for roll out of Optical Fibre.

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