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Draft telecom policy proposes free roaming, full number portability

Telecom users will be able to avail free roaming and keep their phone numbers even if they switch service providers anywhere in the country, as per the draft New Telecom Policy unveiled by the government on Monday. The new policy also proposes that spectrum allocation should be delinked from licences and radio waves should be made available at market-determined prices.

BT Online Bureau | October 12, 2011 | Updated 10:21 IST

Mobile telephone users may be able to make calls without paying roaming charges and change operator outside their circle while retaining the same number, if draft New Telecom Policy is implemented.

Declaring an agenda of 'One Nation-One Licence' across services, the NTP endeavours to create an investor-friendly environment by attracting additional investments in the sector, which has been marred by controversies relating to 2G scam in the recent past.

"Moving forward, we aim to create One Nation - One Licence across services and service areas. We aim to achieve One Nation - Full Mobile Number Portability and work towards One Nation - Free Roaming," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said while unveiling the draft New Telecom Policy 2011.

He, however, did not give any time line for implementing it and said this would be achieved as "we move forward."

"In achieving the goal of NTP-2011 revenue generation will play a secondary role," he said adding that the government would strive to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural India.

Highlighting the vision "Broadband on Demand", the NTP -2011 envisages leveraging telecom infrastructure to enable all citizens and businesses, both in rural and urban area to participate in the internet and web economy thereby ensuring equitable and inclusive development across the nation.

"We will seek TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendations on new licences, migration to new licences and other policy recommendations," Sibal said adding that the government would frame an appropriate policy for players to exit from the sector.

In the wake of the 2G scam, the minister said spectrum allocation would be delinked from licences and radio waves would be made available at market-determined prices. (With Agency Inputs)


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