Guidelines in 10 days for new telecom licences: Raja
Communications Minister A Raja said on Thursday that the technical committee formulating guidelines to screen applications of telecom licence seekers would complete its job in another 10 days.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has received more than 500 applications since the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) recommendations on August 29 that sought the removal of a ceiling on the number of service providers in each telecom circle.
Talking to reporters after inaugurating an industry conference organised by industry chamber ASSOCHAM, Raja said, "the committee set up for the purpose would submit its report in the next few days with its recommendations for putting in place fresh guidelines as per which new telecom licences would be issued."
The minister said, "After ascertaining all facts, a transparent approach will be followed to deal with these applications."
Various corporates and MNCs including AT&T, Russian firm Sistema, Sterlite, Hindujas, DLF, Parsvnath, Videocon and others have entered the fray to get telecom licences.
Raja said DoT also intends to steer telecom operators through public – privates partnership to increase rural telephone density, which is a little above 6 per cent, while the national average teledensity is 21.2 per cent.
Raja also said that his Ministry was committed to creating infrastructure for mobile services in rural and remote areas through PPP. "The target is to reduce the urban- rural digital divide from the current 25:1 to 5:1by 2010," he said.