Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) which operates in India as MTS India, has received unified licenses for the eight circles it had won in the March 2013 auctions, reports Business Standard. With this, MTS India has become the first telco to receive unified licenses in India.
Unified licenses allow telcos to offer any form of communication (telephone, Internet, broadband and others) through a single license and also delinks spectrum from future licenses. It was introduced as part of the new telecom policy that was launched in June 2012 and is valid for 20 years from the effective date of the license.
Sistema had secured CDMA spectrum in eight circles including Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal telecom for Rs 3,639.48 crore in the March 2013 auctions. It also has a license in the Rajasthan circle which was not affected by the Supreme Court judgment last year.
Having scaled down its operations to nine telecom circles in March 2013, Sistema had stated plans to expand its data services in the country, which includes launching LTE services on the CDMA spectrum. The company was looking to deploy LTE services on 850 MHz spectrum band in India, which will apparently allow them to migrate to LTE and offer better experience than the existing 3G services to subscribers.
Strangely, its worth noting that telcos which has secured spectrum in the November 2012 auction are yet to receive unified licenses in the country. A Uninor spokesperson had told The Economic Times that the process is still underway and it has not yet received the unified license.
– The Terms For Migration To A Unified License For Telecom In India
– India’s Unified License Guidelines: Roaming Pacts, Cross Ownership, Broadcast
– On India’s Plans For Internet Telephony: Unified Licenses & Interception