The telecom sector in India, especially the mobile segment is in the throes of change, authored by TRAI. The recommendations have been vetted by the Telecom Commission and will be finally approved by the Communications Minister. What changes are you going to see?
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in response to a request by the Communications Ministry, recommended several changes to licensing for mobile telephony. Some of these reforms would benefit GSM operators, and others, CDMA providers. The recommendations were submitted to the Telecom Commission on 29 August 2007.
The Telecom commission has, in turn, cleared some proposals and withheld others. The reforms that have been cleared were announced on October 19. All the proposals are soon to be reviewed and finalized by the Communications Minister.
What reforms await you?
So what reforms are you going to see? You will have several service providers in each circle. Each provider will have to use the best technology possible. Your service will start from the day spectrum is allocated to the provider. Your provider has to honor roll-out obligations, failing which punitive measures including revoking bank guarantee and other clauses may be applied.
If your provider does not get wireless spectrum, they can provide service with wired technology. They can provide both GSM and CDMA services; spectrum in both technologies can be bought for a prescribed fee. Spectrum allocation will be on the basis of subscriber linkage. If your provider is unable to use the allocated spectrum, it will be surrendered. The provider will pay allocation charges that vary for class A, B or C areas.
Other proposals that may be cleared in the near future include auctions of all bandwidths other than 800, 900 and 1800 MHz, revenue-share spectrum charges, and several proposals regarding mergers and acquisitions of providers in each service area. Providers who comply with roll-out guidelines may be rewarded with reductions in tariff subsequently.
Do you think these reforms are appropriate or adequate? Neither the GSM nor the CDMA camps seem to think so. What more do you think needs to be done?
(Sources: TRAI, Telecom Commission)