India’s telecom sector

The new policy replaces the National Telecom Policy-2012, making the sector more digitally competent.

The initiation of new telecom policy – the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018, is targeted to make the telecom industry a billion dollar business. It aims to create $100 billion investment by 2022, also brining with itself, 4 million job opportunities.

The new policy replaces the National Telecom Policy of 2012, aiming to be more customer-centric, app-driven, and bringing an operative 5G ecosystem, and broadband for all.

However, the revenues expected, are subjected to vary, upon the implementation of the policy. “Quality of service is a big concern and we’ll be meeting telecom service providers this month to discuss it and other issues such as the fibre-first policy and digital readiness,” telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Friday, in an industry event organized by Assocham and EY.

She also confirmed that, the government was working on the spectrum auction recommendations from the regulator, and in the coming months, it would provide clarity on timeline of the sale, including of 5G frequencies.

The new telecom policy, will take a transformational look at the spectrum sharing, leasing and trading guidelines, as a part of its strategy. The industry will also review its impositions, such as license fees and Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC), as well as Mergers and Acquisition rules to simplify exit procedures.

The spectrum will be now be public welfare driven, rather than just being a source of generating revenue.

The policy has increased the contribution of telecom industry in the GDP from 6 per cent (2017) to 8 per cent, along with upholding the principle of net neutrality.

“The government felt the need to come up with a new telecom policy that is both customer-focused and application-driven, given the pace of global transformation in the sector, particularly, in emerging technologies such as 5G, IOT (internet of things) and M2M (machine to machine) communications,” telecom minister Manoj Sinha, said on Friday.

The Telecom Commission, highest-decision making body in the telecom department (DoT), will be now be addressed as the Digital Communication Commission,” the minister said.


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