National Telecom Policy 2011: Free Roaming, High Speed Broadband

By October 10th, 2011 AT 4:50 PM

Kapil Sibal, Minister for Telecommunications and IT today release the draft of the National Telecommunications Policy-2011 aims to have 100% tele-density by 2020 also targets affordable and reliable broadband on demand by 2015 and Free National Roaming on Mobile Services.

The New Telecom Policy recommends one Nation, one license policy across services and service areas to abolish Roaming charges. The distinction between local and STD calls would vanish, as the policy aims at a ‘one-nation-one-licence’ regime.

Under the new telecom policy, telecom ministry also provisions for inter-circle Mobile Number Portability (MNP) i.e. Full MNP, which involves changing an operator while retaining the same phone number in different telecom circles.

NTP-2011 aims to revise the existing broadband download speed of 256 Kbps to 512 Kbps by 2011 and subsequently to 2 Mbps by 2015 and try to make 500 MHZ spectrum available by 2020. It will De-link issuances of licenses and spectrum allocation. The revenue generation will be the secondary consideration in the New Telecom Policy 2011.

Mr. Kapil Sibal says “We will seek seek TRAI recommendations on license framework under the new Telecom Policy 2011. State operators BSNL and MTNL will continue to play important role in penetration. Mission is to have special coverage of remote and rural areas. The New spectrum act will look into spectrum pricing and spectrum to be made available at market valuations.”

Highlights : National Telecom Policy – 2011 :

  • One Nation-One License to mean removal of Roaming charges on Mobile phone service.
  • Full Mobile Number Portability and work towards One Nation – Free Roaming.
  • Efforts Towards ‘Right to Broadband’
  • Affordable and reliable Broadband on demand by 2015 and to achieve 175 million broadband connections by the year 2017 and 600 million by the year 2020 at minimum 2 Mbps download speed and making available higher speeds of atleast 100 Mbps on demand.
  • To revise the existing broadband download speed of 256 Kbps to 512 Kbps by 2011 and subsequently to 2 Mbps by 2015 and and higher speeds of atleast 100 Mbps thereafter.
  • 300 MHz spectrum to be made available by 2017
  • Aim to make 500 MHz spectrum available by 2020
  • Mission is to have special coverage of Remote, Rural areas across India.
  • Protect consumer interest by promoting informed consent, transparency and accountability in quality of service, tariff, usage etc.
  • Optimize transmission of services to consumers irrespective of their devices or locations by Fixed-Mobile Convergence thus making available valuable spectrum for other wireless services.
  • Convergence of services will cover voice, data, video, Internet, VAS
  • The technology neutral Unified Licenses are envisaged to be in two separate categories : (a) Network Service Operator (NSO)/ Communication Network Service Operator (CNSO)
    (b)  Service Delivery Operator (SDO)/ Communication Service Delivery Operator (CSDO)
  • To permit resale at retail level like MVNO
  • De-link licenses issuances & spectrum allocations
  • Spectrum to be made available at market valuations
  • Seek TRAI recommendation on license framework
  • Will allow trading, sharing, pooling of spectrum
  • Will enact a separate spectrum act
  • Aim is to have the policy take effect by December 2011

Note : All above regulations are proposed by Telecom Ministry and would be effective if the policy comes into effect.

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