The National Telecom Policy (NTP) is scheduled to come in a couple of months from now. As the final draft of the policy nears completion, the Department of Telecommunications has found a supporter in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, as the latter is now with DoT on the issue of implementing free roaming across the country. A report in Business Standard confirms that TRAI has agreed to ‘one nation-one license’ proposal that has been in the pipeline, allowing for zero roaming charges being applied through the country. TRAI, reportedly has also asked DoT to make provisions for mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) in the policy, too.
Better times ahead? (Image credit: Getty Images)
So, what does this have in store for the average user? To begin with, the ‘one nation-one license’ policy, which is currently a part of the NTP draft will allow customers to use their existing mobile numbers, anywhere in the country without having to pay any extra roaming charges that were applicable, so far. Revoking roaming charges across the country is easily the most highlighted aspect of the NTP, making it all the more a proposal to look out for. In addition to this, the new NTP, reportedly also provisions some changes to the existing norms of mobile number portability (MNP) - one of the telecom sector’s most ambitious plans. The new NTP will allow users to avail MNP services, that is change their operator service, even while they’re moving to another state - i.e. another telecom circle, like in most cases. This proposal,too is an interesting one, since, till now users were allowed to change their operator service to another one, as long as it is within the same telecom circle.
The report further states that TRAI is currently toying with the idea of reducing inter-operator costs in fixing rates, so that the entire process is an affordable one to the end user. The TRAI, at present sits atop a very powerful position, as it now has civil court powers, too, allowing them to “....to summon persons and receive evidence and also call for expert advice while conducting enquiry.” The National Telecom Policy, which is expected to make an appearance in June, this year is by all means a very important event, since it will bring with it several landmark changes. Reportedly, the draft of the NTP was only recently given a go-ahead by the Telecom Commission, which is the highest decison-making body of the DoT. The draft now awaits a Cabinet approval, which the DoT Secretary R Chandrashekhar believes to be sent to by the end of this month, and an approval to it by roughly April-end.
What do you think of the new National Telecom Policy? Being the average user, what are your expectations from it?