Every night has its day

The Ministry for Communications and IT has recently released the draft copy of the National Telecommunication Policy 2011. This policy will ensure that there is a separate spectrum Act on spectrum sharing, pooling, even trading. These policies will eventually shape the Telecom landscape of the country for years to come.

The allocation of spectrum, or radio waves, would be delinked from telecom licences and be done through market mechanisms. This is a great move, considering the size and growth of Indian market. The earlier Telecom policy was loosely made. It aimed at affordability and availability which led to the telecom sector becoming the fastest growing in the world with some of the lowest tariffs in the world. Now that Indian telecom market has matured enough to move into the next level, it is high time for a more organized policy to be introduced. This will ensure that another 2G scam is not repeated. The draft of the new policy seeks to cover all issues and looks at the growth of broadband, local manufacturing of telecom equipment, and investments in R&D.

This new telecom policy is futuristic, business and consumer friendly, and transparent. although it wasn’t immediately clear when and how it will be implemented. However, there are no details on how these policies will be implemented and how some of these objectives will be achieved. Another problem with the draft is that the timelines for some of the elements are too long and it is possible that momentum will be lost and investors may feel the government is not serious. This is one of the bills of the future to look forward to.

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