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Telecom policy to be unveiled at next parliamentary session

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 20, 2018 Published on March 20, 2018

Manoj Sinha, Telecom Minister   -  Kamal Narang

Policy will be uploaded on DoT website for public comments this month: Manoj Sinha

The government on Tuesday said the new telecom policy is almost ready and will be brought in the next session of Parliament after a Cabinet nod.

“The new telecom policy is almost ready, and, this month, we will place it on the Department’s website for public comments. We will bring it in the next session of Parliament,” Manoj Sinha, Telecom Minister, told reporters here on Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a ‘Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana’ award ceremony, Sinha said the recent Cabinet nod to the telecom relief package — that entails giving more time to companies to pay for the spectrum they bought, as well as liberalising spectrum caps — will ensure that the success of the sector continues unabated. He added that the telcos can opt to pay for the spectrum either by the new schedule or continue under the existing arrangement. Earlier this month, the Cabinet allowed telcos to pay for spectrum over 16 years instead of 10 years, as per which the Department of Telecommunications amended telecom services licenceson Monday.

It permitted the operators to hold more airwaves, in a bid to provide relief to the financially stressed sector.

Spectrum caps

The relaxed caps on holding spectrum will help ongoing mergers such as the one of Idea and Vodafone, as the combined entity would have breached the current limits in certain circles.

The DoT has also amended the licence norms of service providers to increase the number of instalments for spectrum payments and the holding limit of radio wave frequency.

Sinha said the government is going to install 4,000 new 2G+4G towers in naxal areas, as approved by the Telecom Commission.

Published on March 20, 2018
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