The union cabinet approved the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 which is all set to replace the 13-year-old New Telecom Policy 1999 and will clear important issues such as spectrum estimation and its sharing and will hand out spectrum for licensing ensuring minimal licensing fee and unwrapping spectrum and optimizing its usage. If sources are to be believed, the new policy will let sharing of towers and in the case of low traffic for a particular operator, it will be free to share its towers with other players.

National Telecom Policy 2012

The main focus of the policy lies on the multiplier effect and transformational impact of such services on the overall economy. The policy will also try to develop a ground on entire mobile portability. The policy aims to grow the rural Teledensity to 70 percent which is only 39 percent as per the current data. As per the sources more stress shall be laid on chip-making as it contributes 60 percent of the cost of a mobile phone. With this context the government is all set to clear an electric manufacturing policy by next month.

According to new rules there will be no specification, and a single operator after purchase of spectrum can use it for 3G, 4G, CDMA or any technology. The policy is designed to enable social sector programs like electronic transfer of money in NREGA and UNIDP and to encourage e-governance in India. The policy will further enable taking suitable measures to encourage existing service providers to rapidly migrate to the new regime in a uniformly liberalized environment with a level playing field. The policy aims to launch broadband in the rural market and is looking to link 25000 villages via broadband as one of the goals.

The Department Of Telecom (DOT) will start issuing new licenses once the policy and the combined licenses are accepted by the cabinet. And the telecom giants will be able to run their services based on the infrastructure available with them.