India has announced guidelines for getting a Unified License for telecom services: the Unified License combines multiple telecom services, including Access Service (Service Area-wise), Internet Services (for which there are three different categories), National Long Distance, International Long Distance, Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite, Public Mobile Radio Trunking Service (PMRTS)Service, VSAT, INSAT MSS-Reporting (MSS-R) Service and Resale of International Private Leased Circuit (IPLC) Services. These licenses are not linked to spectrum, which will have to be leased separately: India's last two spectrum auctions for mobile services have been disastrous. It's not clear as to why exactly we need licenses, when the same terms and conditions can be applicable when scarce resources (such as spectrum) are allocated, but governments need money, so we have licenses, which essentially serve as gateway fees, and sometimes, inordinately high fees for buying application forms. Frankly, instead of a new Unified License, the Universal Access Service License should just have been renamed Unified License, and it's scope expanded. Some terms related to the Unified License: - Non discriminatory: there is no restriction on the number of entrants for the provision of any service in a Service Area. - Paid up capital and Net Worth: minimum Net worth and paid-up equity shall be limited to a maximum of Rs. 25 Crore, with the paid up capital to be maintained during the tenure of the license. The networth of promoters/equity share holders shall not be counted for determining the networth of the company. - Entry Fee: Rs…
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