New Delhi: The inter-ministerial Telecom Commission will meet on 14 July to discuss the suggestions made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on broadband services that may lead to reduction in landline call rates. The panel may also consider Trai recommendation on allowing virtual network operators (VNO) to operate in the country. They are expected to operate as retailers of different telecom operators under one roof and provide one bill to customers for a host of services. According to the recommendations, a VNO would offer all telecom services permitted under new licences. It is expected to reduce marketing and sales cost of telecom companies struggling in the sector besides sharing some operational expenses too.

“The meeting is scheduled for 14 July. Trai recommendations on improving broadband are to be discussed at the meet. The panel may also deliberate on Trai’s suggestion on virtual network operators," an official familiar with the matter said. Trai had suggested exempting fixed line broadband service from licence fee for at least five years and suggested a series of measures to expedite the roll out of high speed network.

The recommendation, if accepted, will bring down cost of phone calls made from landlines. The regulator has suggested allowing telecom operators to bundle desktops, laptops, tablets and so on with their broadband schemes and exempt revenues from such offers from the applicable license fee at least for a certain number of years, say for three years.

Trai recommended to the government to either provide more spectrum or audit spectrum held by various entities to ensure efficient use of airwaves to push growth of mobile broadband. In the recommendation issued on 17 April, the regulator suggested that the government take a decision on 700 Mhz band—the best spectrum frequency for wireless telecom services within three months so that details of its auction can be worked out.

Trai also expressed concerns over the government delaying guidelines on spectrum trading and sharing which could lead to efficient use of spectrum.

Close