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New telecom ‘unified licences’ to be unveiled tomorrow,M&As in Sept: Kapil Sibal

Unified Licences will free players from limitations on use of technology for services.

Written by PTI | New Delhi |
August 2, 2013 1:51:50 pm

The long awaited telecom ‘unified licences’,which aim to free players from limitations on use of technology for services and allow them to take benefits under the new sectoral policy,will be in place by tomorrow.

“File has come to me and I have to sign it,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on sidelines of National Telecom Summit organised by industry body CII.

Also read: Cabinet approves easing FDI norms for telecom,defence,retail

While speaking at the summit,Telecom Secretary M F Farooqui said,”Unified licence is something which we should be coming out with in a day or two that would be another step forward in giving required flexibility completely. It would allow flexibility to those who are taking liberalised spectrum,to use that spectrum for any technology that come up.” Later he clarified that the UL will be unveiled either today or tomorrow.

Also read: 100% FDI in telecom to spur interest in upcoming auctions,says BofA

Government has made spectrum liberal for companies who have acquired it on market determined rate through auction or by paying additional spectrum fee as decided by Cabinet. Under the new licences,Indian operators would be able to provide services like internet telephony that can enable consumers to make calls even from their computer on any phone. Further the new policy provides for consolidation among holders of UL.

“M&A (mergers & acquisition guidelines) according to me will be in place by September,” Sibal said. Under the new telecom policy,holders of UL will be able to share even their spectrum which was not permissible under previous licences. The earlier licences only allowed sharing of passive infrastructure like mobile towers which helped companies decrease their expense in rolling out and managing mobile networks. “Telecom policy provides for sharing active infrastructure and more effective and efficient use of spectrum. These are the things on which we will bring finality,” Farooqui said.

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