The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Wednesday floated a consultation paper on the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2018, wherein the regulator is of the view that the policy should review spectrum usage charge (SUC), licence fee (LF) and Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) levy. The consultation paper seeks views from stakeholders on NTP 2018.The department of telecommunications (DoT) in August 2017 asked Trai to recommend policy inputs. The DoT is expected to come out with the policy by March 2018. “Based on preliminary discussions with various stakeholders, including telecom operators, equipment manufacturers, industry associations, consulting firms, cloud service providers etc, the authority has prepared inputs for formulating the NTP 2018 in line with technological advancements and customer aspirations for digital services,” it said.
Trai said the policy’s mission should be self sufficiency in telecom equipment manufacturing, while its objective should be “to leapfrog India amongst top-50 nations in international rankings in terms of network readiness, communications systems and services and to attract an investment equivalent to $100 billion in communication sector”. For achieving these two objectives, the regulator is of the view that, among others, there should be a “review of licence fee, USOF levy and SUC keeping in view the importance of communication infrastructure in socio-economic development”.