Union Minister of Communications IT Kapil Sibal has said that the present crisis in telecom sector can be overcome and be converted into opportunities by bringing about clarity and regulatory stability to the industry. He said that what the telecom sector needs are the long term measures to achieve this goal.
“Long-term measures such as National Telecom Policy, National IT Policy and National Electronic & Manufacturing Policy will delineate the telecom sector from uncertainties, paving way for long term investments. He said India plans to move towards technology neutral Unified License, delinked from Spectrum, in order to exploit the benefits of convergence”, said Sibal while delivering a keynote address at the ongoing telecom sector GSMA Leadership Summit 2012 in Barcelona, Spain, Sibal said
Sibal said India is aiming at a one nation one license, mobile number portability, free roaming regime, across services and service areas.
Further, an entity can hold maximum 25% of the allotted spectrum. He said the rules have been liberalized allowing M&A between two firms together controlling 35% of market share, which can go up to 60% market share, on case to case basis.
Sibal said all key stake holders- industry, regulator and the political class- need to work together to benefit consumers, empower poor and restore viability of industry.
Pointing out that no business can afford to ignore India’s 400 million strong young workforce which is larger that population of USA or Europe. They are born and brought up in ICT age.
He said India is already networking its 800 Universities and 24000 Colleges through Optical Fibre Cable to empower its youth. Sibal pointed out that although rural teledensity has risen from 1.73% to 37.48% over the last 5 years, a large unsaturated rural market consisting of 2/3rd of the country’s population remains untapped by Telecom operators.