MTNL to be awarded ILD license before year-end

MTNL to be awarded ILD license before year-end


New Delhi: State-run telecom firm MTNL is likely to get international long distance license before the end of the year as the Department of Telecom (DoT) has started processing its application.

DoT has sought routine clarifications from the PSU and it will not be very long before the company is issued a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the license, sources said.

MTNL is currently routing its ISD traffic through VSNL. Millennium Telecom (MTL), a joint venture between MTNL and BSNL, has applied for the ILD license and MTNL has already started groundwork for launching its own international long distance business.

MTNL has a majority stake of 51% in MTL. Once MTNL gets the license, it plans to lay its own submarine cable to carry its ISD traffic and other operators’ traffic as well. Millennium Telecom has floated a 1600-crore tender to lay a submarine cable from India to South East Asia and Middle East.

The cable will sell international bandwidth besides carrying the PSUs’ long distance traffic to overseas destinations which will enable them to lower their ISD rates. MTNL is expecting an ILD license whereas BSNL is a late entrant to start the service.