TRAI who has initiated several regulations starting the second half of last year has now proposed to operators that they need not pay entry fee for migrating to Unified Licences, as per reports. This draft guideline if implemented will offer relief to companies that provide select services namely Internet and cellular mobile services. TRAI also proposes that if a unified licence (restricted) wishes to expand its range of services then they can opt for Unifies Licence. However, this will entitle them to pay the prescribed fee.
TRAI said that all existing telecom licences on their expiry will be automatically converted in to Unified Licence (Restricted). With the release of the draft of guidelines for 'Unified Licence/Class Licence and Migration of Existing Licenses, TRAI said, “For conversion to the Unified Licence (Restricted), there shall be no additional entry fee to be paid by the licencee.”
Although there are several telecom licenses, majority offer select services such as Internet services and national/international connectivity. There are firms too which hold Unified Access Services Licences and can provide various kinds of telecom services. According to the draft, “A holder of Unified Licence (Restricted) shall have the option to apply for and migrate to a Unified Licence.”
The fee proposed by the regulator reads Rs 20 crore for national level, Rs 2 crore for each Metro and 'A' category service area, Rs 1 crore for each B category service area, Rs 50 lakh for each C category service area and Rs 15 lakh for each district level Unified Licence. The company that wishes to migrate from Unified Licence (Restricted) to Unified License has to pay the fee on an annual basis. TRAI asks stakeholders to send their comments or any other suggestions by February 24 and counter comments by February 29.
“DoT had requested TRAI to recommend the Unified Licence guidelines…TRAI was also requested to recommend modalities and guidelines for enabling existing UAS/CMTS/ISP/NLD…to migrate to National/Service Area level Unified Licence,” TRAI Secretary Rajeev Agrawal said in a statement.
The new recommendation from TRAI follows its suggestions on Spectrum Management and Licensing Framework for future licenses to be unified licenses. Reportedly, under the draft National Telecom Policy 2011, its suggestion has been accepted by the government.