Trai proposes ways to ease doing of business in telecom sector

Published On: 01, Dec 2017 | Source:

To improve ease of doing business, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has proposed some new measures.

These include approval to a merged entity within 30 days of a go-ahead from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), giving telcos up to a year to surrender or trade excess airwaves in the case of a merger, permitting trading in all bands which have been put on auction, plus easier penalty norms.

If the department of telecommunications (DoT) agrees, the proposed mergers of Bharti Airtel-Telenor, Vodafone-Idea Cellular, and Bharti Airtel-Tata Teleservice's mobile business would all get approval in a short span. In the past, had taken several months for approving mergers between companies even after an okay.


For instance, after approval, the Airtel-Qualcomm merger approval from took six to seven months. That of Reliance Communications and Sistema Shyam Teleservices took around four months. Industry representatives say this delay increases the uncertainty and operational cost.

has recommended that issue a definite timeline, not exceeding 30 days after approval, for written approval to transfer or merge licences; it should be part of the Merger & Acquisition guidelines.

And, if a merger results in spectrum holding beyond the permissible cap, the entity should get the option to surrender or trade it within a year. has also proposed that spectrum trading be permitted in all bands put to auction, the permissible block size the same as specified in the notice inviting applications for the latest auction.

"should devise a suitable matrix, linking the penalty to the severity of the incident and recurrence of the violation for the imposition of financial penalties," said.

had issued a position paper on in March this year. It asked stakeholders to review the processes and identify bottlenecks or obstacles that make it difficult to do telecom business in India.

"We are pleased with what has recommended. It will go a long way to improve We wish the proposals are soon adopted and implemented by DoT," said Rajan S Mathews, director-general, Cellular Operators Association of India.

The regulator has also proposed that the entire process of Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocation clearance, as well as grant of all licences or approvals, be made paperless and be executed end-to-end through the online portal.

And, a defined timeline not exceeding 30 days within which an import licence is granted.