The industry’s demand of a one nation, one network and one licence policy could become a reality soon as the telecom ministry has assured them that it will consider the suggestion and work on it. Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan in her meeting with telecom operators, infrastructure providers and handset makers on the sidelines of an event on Wednesday, also assured the industry that the government is committed to bring in changes that will enhance the ease of doing business.
During the meeting, a representative from the country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, said that India is ready for a one nation, one network and one licence policy. He added that it is time that bifurcations such as types of licences and geographical split around licensing, circles and service areas are done away with and that technology should decide the architecture, rather than regulation deciding the architecture.
Responding to the queries raised during the two-hour session, Sundararajan said, “There will have to be a significant amount of rewriting and administrative reform in the telecom ministry, so that we are able to actually move to some of the things like one nation (one network and one licence policy).” She, however added, “I am not saying that all this will be done overnight, but what I am saying is that we will endeavour to put it into the policy (NTP), so that those things that need to be done in a calibrated manner, we will provide the necessary movement. Others can be the low-hanging fruit and they can be done straight away”. One of the objectives of the the National Telecom Policy (NTP), 2012 was to strive to create ‘one nation-one licence’ across services and service areas.