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Govt May Renew Telecom Licences Every 10 Years, Says Sibal

New Delhi, Apr 11: Amid controversy over allocation of spectrum and grant of telecom licences, government today said all licences are proposed to be renewed after 10 years instead of 20 year period earlier.“The telecom
govt may renew telecom licences every 10 years...
PTI 11 Apr 2011, 18:13:22 PM IST

New Delhi, Apr 11: Amid controversy over allocation of spectrum and grant of telecom licences, government today said all licences are proposed to be renewed after 10 years instead of 20 year period earlier.

“The telecom companies under the (proposed)NTP-2011 will have to file an application 30 months prior for the renewal of the telecom licenses and it (the licence) will be renewed for 10 years unlike 20 years as of now,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said.

The minister said this while unveiling the road contours of the New Telecom Policy-2011 and Department of Telecom's 100-days action plan and achievements.

Sibal, who took over the reigns of the ministry after the unceremonious exit of his predecessor A. Raja, had on January 1, initiated the plan to formulate the NTP-2011.

The minister said the DoT will hire agencies for regular audit of spectrum and its usage to ensure proper utilisation of scarce natural resource.
The NTP-2011, among other things, calls for liberal mergers and acquisitions and a minimum of six competitors in each circle, including BSNL.
“Spectrum sharing should be considered to finalise the new policy,” Sibal said.

The DoT has also announced formation of a Committee for National Spectrum Act headed by retired Judge Shivraj V Patil.

The Department has also formed a broadband committee to look into the issues related to national broadband plan headed by Telecom expert and advisor to Prime Minister, Sam Pitroda.

Sibal, while expressing confidence that NTP-2011 will be finalised by year-end, said spectrum will be be delinked from licence.

The government is yet to decide on the pricing mechanism for 2G spectrum, he said when asked whether it has worked out a formula to recover additional amount from the telecom operators who were awarded 2G licences. PTI

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