Decision on full MNP, spectrum auction in DoT’s 100-day agenda

By PTI
18 June, 2014

The Department of Telecommunications is learnt to have listed taking a decision on implementation of full mobile number portability and preparing a roadmap for one of the biggest spectrum auctions, among others, in its 100-day agenda.

“Decision on inter circle MNP to enable consumers of mobile services to retain the same number across the country irrespective of geographical location and service provider would be taken in 100 days,” an official source said.

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has in-principle approved full MNP and has sought additional details from telecom regulator TRAI.

Besides this, the DoT has listed it would prepare a roadmap of one of the biggest spectrum auctions within 100 days of the new regime. The auction would include most premium airwave frequencies for mobile services in the 700 Mhz band.

“Roadmap for auction in 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz (CDMA), 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz will be announced for investors to plan participation and invest in telecom sector,” the official source said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in 2012 had recommended that price of airwaves in 700 Mhz band should four times the price of 1800 Mhz band–widely known as 2G spectrum.

In February, the government received bids of about Rs 62,162 crore from auction of radio frequencies in 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz band. Both these airwaves are being used by GSM operators like Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Vodafone and Uninor for providing mobile services.

Besides this, the DoT may ask Bharat Broadband Network Limited to connect 1,000 gram panchayats with national optical fibre network to provide broadband service with speeds of up to 100 megabit per second.

In these 100 days, the DoT has plans to issue the first-ever national broadband policy, guidelines for spectrum sharing. For spectrum trading, it will approach Cabinet for final approval.

The long-pending graded penalty scheme for telecom operators is also likely to be notified as part of the 100 day-programme.

The new scheme is likely to bring some relief to telecom operators, who rue that at present the maximum penalty of Rs 50 crore is imposed even for minor mistakes.

The Telecom Commission had approved the new penalty regime, which will be slab-based and ranges between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50 crore. Warnings can lead to penalty of Rs 1 lakh, minor violations with Rs 1 crore penalty, moderate (Rs 5 crore), major (Rs 20 crore) and severe (Rs 50 crore).


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Decision on full MNP, spectrum auction in DoT’s 100-day agenda

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