Lakshmi Kumaran & Sridharan AttorneysAn ISO 9001 / 27001 certified law firm

New policy regime for telecom sector soon

The Indian Department of Telecommunications has asked companies to file a status report, by 30th of October, 2011, on compliance with the security rules notified in June. As per the new rules, the telecom companies have to ensure that the mobile network is free of bugs or spyware, software updates are intimated and requirements on call interception and monitoring are complied with. A National Telecom Security Policy is likely to be unveiled by the end of this year.

The DoT is also ready with the final draft of the National Telecom Policy, 2011 and will initiate public consultations shortly. The new Telecom Policy has been in the making since January this year. It seeks to provide for a single licensing regime which combines mobile Unified Access Service Licence, STD and ISD (long-distance services). The new policy is also likely to end the concept of ‘domestic roaming’ within circles, expanding Mobile Number Portability. Focus on domestic manufacture of telephone equipment is another key feature of the policy.

The Indian Government is planning to reserve 30% of all electronic equipment procurements to goods manufactured in India. The proposal by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has drawn objections from the US and EU as being against WTO norms. Earlier, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as also the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) had a made a case for giving impetus to indigenous manufacturers by sourcing of locally manufactured equipments and extending fiscal incentives. The Chinese model of support to the telecom industry through lines of credit and subsidies and thrust on R&D by Israel were sought to be replicated.

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