1. Government mulls doing away with ‘wireless operating licence’

Government mulls doing away with ‘wireless operating licence’

In a bid to facilitate ease of doing business, government is considering doing away with the 'wireless operating licence' for access service providers, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said today.

By: | New Delhi | Published: October 26, 2016 6:05 PM
Government is also in the process of notifying rules for 'right of way' and installation of towers, the minister added. (PTI) Government is also in the process of notifying rules for ‘right of way’ and installation of towers, the minister added. (PTI)

In a bid to facilitate ease of doing business, government is considering doing away with the ‘wireless operating licence’ for access service providers, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said today.

“Government is considering to do away with the wireless operating licence for access service providers,” Sinha said at the opening session of a conference organised by global mobile industry body GSMA.

Government is also in the process of notifying rules for ‘right of way’ and installation of towers, the minister added.

At present, the telecom service providers have to obtain a separate licence for installing and operating base stations as also other wireless equipments, which is already covered as part of their main licences like the Unified Access Service Licence.

Hence the move to do away with a separate “wireless operating licence” would reduce the hassles for telecom operators, a Telecom Ministry official said.

Since this is already covered under the access service licence, a separate wireless operating licence only leads to “duplicacy”, the official pointed out.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has been making representation to Government for removal of this licence, saying it would facilitate ease of doing business and avoid duplication of licences, industry sources said.

Meanwhile, the minister said the government is committed to assigning spectrum won by operators in the current auctions, by November 19, that is, within 30 days of payment.

India has one of the lowest call rates ensuring affordability for the common man, he said.

The mobile has “transformed” everyday life, Sinha said, adding that the country is at the threshold of mobile data revolution.

“With the intent of facilitating ease of doing business and making more resources available, the Department has taken many initiatives… Spectrum trading and sharing has been permitted alongwith sharing of active infrastructure such as base stations,” he pointed out.

Other initiatives taken by the Government include allowing paperless acquisition of subscribers based on eKYC norms, permitting virtual network operators, and harmonisation of spectrum for its efficient utilisation, among others.

“These initiatives address the concerns of the industry and are investment-friendly, reducing cost of doing business, improving regulatory compliance and enabling faster acquisition of subscribers,” Sinha pointed out.

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