The Department of Telecom (DoT) has constituted committees to work on objectives set by National Digital Communications Policy, especially around concerns raised by service providers, a top government official said.
"The discussions on the operational model will entail questions like who will be investing in infrastructure, who will be providing the services. There is no standard model...we will have to see what is suitable in the Indian context," Sundararajan said.
Telecom Commission – the highest policy making body of Department of Telecom (DoT) – on May 1 cleared a proposal for allowing wider in-flight connectivity that is now available in most of the developed markets.
The draft policy branded as National Digital Communications Policy 2018 was unveiled by the government yesterday. It aims to attract USD 100 billion or about Rs 6.5 lakh crore investments in the digital communications sector by 2022 with the help of reforms.
Terming the next-generation technologies like IoT critical, Sundararajan said the government's endeavour is to provide an "enabling" policy for growth of the industry and not to impose a "heavy regulatory framework".
Next phase of BharatNet plans to cover 1.5 lakh panchayats and create 5 lakh wi-fi hot spots for rural India, said Aruna Sundararajan.
"On spectrum we are already more or less aligned with global position in 5G. Those bands we are harmonising in line with global community," Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan told PTI here in an interview.
The policy in the offing, will focus on areas such as Internet for all, next-generation technologies (like 5G and Internet of Things), skills development, and security, among others.
J S Deepak, as the Telecom Secretary, a couple of days ago said the government is looking at making spectrum auction an annual event and will reach out to sector regulator Trai for its recommendations.
In a sharply worded letter to TRAI, Telecom Secretary JS Deepak questioned the promotional tariffs offered by telcos which have resulted in losses of up to Rs 800 crore in revenues for the government, reports Economic Times.
"An half an hour meeting was held between J S Deepak and Colao at Vodafone set up at Mobile World Congress," a source said.
The auction last year had seen a muted response on account of high spectrum cost.
Regulator TRAI and Telecom Department today differed over broadband penetration, with the watchdog highlighting India trailing in various global indices and the latter arguing that rankings need be seen in larger context of a developing nation.
India‘s telecom sector has attracted an over USD10-billion foreign direct investment in the first eight months on FY17, Telecom Secretary JS Deepak said on Wednesday. The figure is a 6-7-fold increase from USD 2.9 billion and USD 1.3 billion FDI seen in FY16 and FY15, respectively.
The auction, which was billed as the country's largest sale of airwaves to date in terms of quantity, lasted only for five days. However, right from the Day 1, no activity was seen in the 700MHz frequency band.
In an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan, Deepak talked about a number of key issues with respect to the spectrum issues and also took questions on issues such as the need for amendment to the TRAI Act, right-of-way policy for telecom infrastructure and the VSNL land issue among others.
The government will put a total of 2,354.55 megahertz of mobile airwaves frequencies for auction all band -- 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz. All the airwaves being put for auction can be used for high speed 4G services.
The NIA is the main document of spectrum auction which carries all details of radiowaves being put up for sale, rules, price and the like and is legally binding on both the government as well as bidders.
JS Deepak, a 1982 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, assumes charge at a time when the Department of Telecom is preparing for the next round of spectrum auction.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has put out a consultation paper on a reference made by the government to suggest the base or floor price for all available airwaves for mobile services.
The project aims to provide 2G mobile coverage in identified uncovered areas and seamless mobile coverage along National Highways in the North-East. The plan will be funded from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), in which all telecom operators contribute part of their revenue earned from telephone calls.
Speaking at the Indo-Africa ICT Expo in Nairobi (Kenya), Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg said India has a lot of experience in policies, technology, skills development and innovative solutions that can be shared with Africa.
Apart from the 1.5 million, who will be shifted over the next 30 days, the rest of its pre-paid users are already on per second billing. The company said that out of its total customer base of over 166 million, nearly 157 million are pre-paid.
Spectrum sharing and trading guidelines will allow mobile operators to better utilise the available airwaves and will help in checking the call drop issue. The norms are also likely to push consolidation in the telecom sector.
A top official in the ministry said it will be conveyed to the owners that in case quality of service does not improve, option of levying penalty under licence conditions is not ruled out.