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India all set to release its new National Telecom Policy

India is all set to implement its new National Telecom Policy by August 2011. Information to this effect was made by Indian Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal that, “By August, we will have all issues decided for policy. We are holding a number of round table discussions with industry for this.”

On its way to finalising the National Telecom Policy 2011, the Telecom Ministry has come across a number of issues hampering the growth of sector, mainly because of disagreements among telecom players on various issues.

Sibal had earlier appealed to leading telecom companies to sort out their differences for the betterment of the industry.

However, telecom service providers still have differences on issues like spectrum pricing and refarming.

Most of the telecom operators have asked the Telecom Minister to reject telecom regulator TRAI’s recommendation on spectrum management and pricing.

TRAI’s recommendation is considered to be the foundation for building up the telecom policy.

Telecom companies have even opposed the government’s intention to give preferential access to domestic manufacturers or reserving spectrum for the use of technologies developed indigenously.

“Mandating the use of Domestically Manufactured Products (DMP) is contrary to the NTP (National Telecom Policy), which provides for technology neutrality, flexibility of choice and openness to provide the best of telecom services using state- of-the-art equipment,” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan S Mathews has said in a statement.

TRAI has classified domestically manufactured products in two categories — Indian Manufactured Products (IMP) and Indian Products (IP).

The authority defined IMPs as those products in which the intellectual property rights (IPRs) reside outside the country, while Indian Products are those that have IPRs here.

Trai has recommended that the share of IMPs should gradually go up by 15, 20, 25 and 30 per cent in the financial years 2012-13, 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2019-20, respectively.

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