Sibal cracks the whip on existing telecom policies

Kapil Sibal
New Delhi, Jan 29: In a press conference on Saturday, Jan 29 the Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal announced the new National Telecom policy, which was chalked out to prevent the nation from scams like 2G, henceforth. Sibal in the press meet said that a directional shift in policy was required post the break out of the 2G scam.

"In future, the spectrum will not be bundled with license. The license to be issued to telecom operators will be in the nature of unified license and the license holder will be free to offer any of the multifarious telecom services," Sibal said.

"In the event, if the license holder would like to offer wireless services, it will have to obtain spectrum through a market driven process," he added.

This means that the new operators, if their licenses are held valid, would have to pay a market price for the additional 1.8 Mhz of 2G spectrum and this may make their operations financially unviable.

Meanwhile, for the old operators, those who are holding spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz would have to pay market driven price for the extra airwaves.

The Minister added, "we need to seriously consider the adoption of an auction process for allocation and pricing of spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz while ensuring that there is adequate competition in the auction process."

Sibal said that under the new policy companies' revenue sharing with the government would be uniform and firms would not be given any inaugural spectrum any further.

The irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, during the tenure of Former Telecom Minister A Raja, had caused the loss of 1.76 lack crore to the exchequer.

OneIndia News
(With inputs from PTI)

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