4G players allowed to offer voice services
The Telecom Commission (TC) has given its approval to the companies holding internet services licences for 4G spectrum to provide voice services by paying an additional fee of $306 million (around Rs 1,658 crore) each. The 4G spectrum holders Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI), Augere and Tikona Digital can benefit from this development.
Media reports quoted TC Chairman and Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar as stating that the Commission endorses recommendation of Department of Technology (DoT) committee with regard to Unified Licensing regime. "The ISP (internet service provider) licence holder who hold BWA spectrum if they wish to provide using that spectrum then an additional fee of Rs 1,658 crore will be levied for migration to Unified Licences (UL)," he was quoted saying.
Last year, in its report on a unified licensing regime under the National Telecom Policy 2012, Telecom Commission, a DoT committee, had proposed Unified Licence (Service Delivery). Through this revised regulation, the commission suggested that the holder of the unified licence can deliver all types of communication services to its subscribers.
"The infrastructure companies (IP-1) players may be brought under unified licensing regime. However, exemption in respect of FDI may be sought from the DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion). IP-1 players should be allowed to continue as at present," the panel report said.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)