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Digest: DoT, TRAI, CMS, Vodafone India, Free Roaming & More

(By Apurva Chaudhary & Brinda Lakshmi)

Telecom Commission, the decision-making body of the department of telecom (DoT), has approved 100% foreign direct investment in the telecom sector, reports Economic Times. After ratification of the new policy,  foreign telecom companies will no longer need to have a minority share holding company in India.

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Vodafone India has offered to pay Rs 4,000 crore to the government for the permission to hold on to 2G spectrum in three cities where the license had expired in November, report Economic Times.

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The government has proposed for give  Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to penalize service providers for failing to comply with rules and regulations, reports NDTV Gadgets.

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Government is likely to install Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) in 10 out of 22 service areas in the country, by the end of this year, reports Firstpost. However, there is no information of the service areas where the system is being installed this year.

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The Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Lab setup by Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), technical arm of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has been approved by the IPv6 Ready Logo Committee under IPv6 Forum, an International body.

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Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) has raised concerns over India’s Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy mandating preferences for domestically manufactured ICT goods including hardware and software, reports Times of India. In the letter TIA wrote to the US lawmakers it said that this might have negative impact on exports and economic competitiveness.

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RBI has included Telecom and telecom services under infrastructure sub-sector, reports Times of India. This will make telcos and telecom services eligible for easy bank financing in addition to overseas fund raising.

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Telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Idea have launched roaming packs offering free incoming calls. Airtel subscribers can opt for Rs 5 per day pack or Rs 79 pack which provides free incoming calls on roaming for 30 days. Idea has launched  value vouchers priced between Rs 230-240 and Rs 35-40 (varying from circle to circle) to offer the same rates the user pays in home circle for local, STD, ISD calling and SMS, reports Times of India. Vodafone India has also launched monthly National roaming packs at Rs 75 and Rs 149, reports telecomtalk.

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The parliamentary standing committee has interrogated the DoT for its lethargic pace in laying optical fibre for National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) to provide Broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh village Panchayats (councils), reports Economic Times. Telecom commission had approved Rs 20,000 crore in 2011 and the project was supposed to be executed in 3 years. According to the report, only three pilot projects have been completed so far.

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