Communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday reiterated that he would come out with a new telecom policy (NTP) in 2011 that would replace the existing policy NTP99. Finalising plans for improving penetration of broadband and encouraging manufacturing of equipment are also on top priority for the minister on his new-year agenda.
Department of telecommunications (DoT) would also initiate a dialogue with the department of space, ministries of I&B and defence to get the spectrum vacated for providing mobile telecom services.
“Eleven years have passed since NTP‘99 and many changes have taken place thereafter. Action will be initiated to formulate a comprehensive NTP 2011,” said the minister while releasing the 100-day agenda.
Sibal did not disclose the content of the new policy.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will hold consultations with stakeholders to evolve a “clear and transparent” regime covering licencing, spectrum allocation, tariffs/pricing, linkage with roll-out performance, spectrum sharing, trading and mergers and acquisition.
Sibal said that three elements — reasonable revenue for government, affordable services to users and robust growth of the sector — would be kept in mind while framing the new policy.
“We need to balance all these elements,” said Sibal. He said the government should not get revenue at the cost of industry while industry should not make super normal profits at the cost of consumers by keeping tariffs high. He said that mobile number portability (MNP) would be implemented throughout the country by January 20.
“Security issues regarding telecom equipment procurement, messenger services and subscriber verification will be resolved. Steps will be taken to establish the Central Monitoring System which will facilitate and prevent misuse of lawful interception facility,” said Sibal.