Even though it is for the government to decide on its priorities for the telecom sector, Sharma sees a speedy implementation of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) and its various provisions.
The new government will work in direction of accelerating reforms in the telecom sector along with a focus on 5G rollout, TRAI’s RS Sharma is confident as Narendra Modi government will soon start its second term, PTI reported. He said that the government will show “renewed vigour” in implementing these policies. Even though it is for the government to decide on its priorities for the telecom sector, Sharma sees a speedy implementation of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) and its various provisions, the news agency added.
TRAI’s pending suggestions
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been pushing for a review of licence fees, spectrum usage charges and the universal service obligation fund levy to enhance ease of doing business. TRAI chief also said that the regulatory has submitted a number of recommendations to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) as it looks to rationalise the levies in the telecom sector. “I am sure the government will consider them,” he told the news agency.
Telecom service providers pay a one-time non-refundable entry fee before signing the license agreement. This is mandatory for them. Also, operators are required to pay an annual fee; which is a percentage of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of the service providers. Currently, this fees stands at 8% of the AGR. Among other charges, the network service providers also pay spectrum-related charges, including payment for allotment and use of spectrum.
TRAI, which drew a lot of criticism over its new rules for DTH and Cable TV, was recently embroiled in a legal battle against telecom providers. Seeking justice for the long-term subscribers, TRAI had slapped a directive on major players such as Tata Sky etc to honour their long term plans. However, the same backfired after Tata Sky dragged the regulatory to Delhi High Court and said that the TRAI has created dual orders for the dish providers to follow. Delhi HC put a stay on TRAI directive and the next hearing for the case is expected on 11 July.