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New telecom unified licences by tomorrow, M&A by Sept

New Delhi, Aug 2, 2013 (PTI): 14:17 IST
Kapil Sibal
The long awaited telecom 'Unified Licences', which aims to free players from limitations on use of technology for services and allow them to take benefits under the new sectoral policy, will be in place by tomorrow.

"File has come to me and I have to sign it," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on sidelines of National Telecom Summit organised by industry body CII.

While speaking at the summit, Telecom Secretary M F Farooqui said " UL is something which we should be coming out with in a day or two that would be another step forward in giving required flexibility completely. It would allow flexibility to those who are taking liberalised spectrum, to use that spectrum for any technology that come up."

Later he clarified that the UL will be unveiled either today or tomorrow.
Government has made spectrum liberal for companies who have acquired it on market determined rate through auction or by paying additional spectrum fee as decided by Cabinet.

Under the new licences, Indian operators would be able to provide services like internet telephony that can enable consumers to make calls even from their computer on any phone.

Further the new policy provides for consolidation among holders of UL. "M&A (Mergers and Acquisition guidelines) according to me will be in place by September," Sibal said.

Under the new telecom policy, holders of UL will be able to share even their spectrum which was not permissible under previous licences. The earlier licences only allowed sharing of passive infrastructure like mobile towers which helped companies decrease their expense in rolling out and managing mobile networks.

"Telecom policy provides for sharing active infrastructure and more effective and efficient use of spectrum. These are the things on which we will bring finality," Farooqui said.

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