New Telecom Policy Suggests Inter-Circle MNP and No Roaming Charges

The Draft Telecom Policy 2011 has proposed a single license Pan-India license for telecom operators. This will replace the current system where the spectrum in 22 telecom circles are individually auctioned. This and following regulations would be changed if the policy comes into effect.

No National Roaming – It is not clear whether doing away with national roaming is a result of single license or would this come in effect even without the single license policy. Nonetheless, given the fact that roaming charges constitute of 10% of operators revenue, this policy will see quite some resistance. Though, this could also mean higher increased airtime from subscribers as they would be less worried about the costs.

Inter-circle MNP – Current MNP regulations allow only switching between operators of the same state. The new policy would make it possible to switch from one operator in a given state to another operator in a different state. Though, if national roaming charges is removed, there would be minimal need for this.

Unified Call Rates Across Country: As a result of the above regulations, telecom operators would need to keep a common tariff plan across all states.

But the enforcement of this policy does not seems to happen in near future.

According to a telecom department official, the introduction of a new licensing framework and migration of all mobile phone companies to a single permit will be time consuming.

The migration process will be further complicated by the fact that the permits of mobile phone companies expire at different time-frames across different regions, this official added. In addition to these consumer-centric measures, the draft policy has also specified several targets for the telecom sector. [Source]

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