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The Lowdown On India’s New Telecom Norms: License, Spectrum Sharing, M&A & More

Before the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India could finalize its plans for reallocation of spectrum, India's Department of Telecom has issued a set of norms regarding telecom licenses in India. The timing of these decisions is critical, given the uncertainty regarding the future of Indian telecom, and will undoubtedly have a bearing on companies' decision to participate in the reallocation of 2G spectrum later this year. India's Supreme Court had cancelled 122 telecom licenses and asked the TRAI to fix a process for reallocation of spectrum. The DoT's new policy: License & Spectrum - Delinking license from spectrum: In the 2008 allocation from the DoT, spectrum had been bundled with the license. This means that even if a company has a license to offer telecom services, it may not have the wherewithal in the absence of bundled spectrum. Spectrum will have to be licensed separately, but the DoT doesn't say how, adding that the decision will be taken "after receipt of detailed Guidelines and Terms & Conditions from TRAI for Unified Licence including migration path for all existing licence(s) to Unified Licence." - Eventual migration to Unified Licensing Regime: "In the event of any auction of spectrum pending finalisation of the Unified Licensing Regime, UAS licence without spectrum may be issued which could be subject to a requirement to migrate to Unified licence as and when the regime is put in place. Detailed guidelines for such UAS licence without spectrum would be finalised after receipt of recommendations of TRAI in…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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