The Communication and IT Ministry on 30 October, 2011 allocated at least five new frequency bands, including the 700 Mhz band, for telecom services. Small chunks of spectrum for developing indigenous technologies have also been reserved under the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) 2011. The new Plan, which gives the broad direction for future spectrum allocation, will come into effect from October 1. The Plan looks forward to earmark the entire 700 Mhz band for mobile broadband services. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had also set its sight on this band for Mobile TV services but NFAP has pushed the broadcasting services to another band.
In a move to strengthen measures to prevent pesky messages and calls, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) plans to impose a termination charge of five paisa for every commercial SMS on service providers from where the messages originate. This means the operators will have to pay a minimum interconnect usage charge of five paisa per commercial SMS to the other.
India's apex policy-making body in the sector, the Telecom Commission has directed the department of telecom ( DoT) to prepare an exit policy for operators. Several players combating the dual threats of market viability and licence cancellation following the 2G spectrum scam will be benefitted by this step.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced more time to the stakeholders, who were asked to give suggestions for a consultation paper on "Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS)" on 21 July 2011. The last date for receipt of comments has been extended to 23 August and for counter comments to 30 August.
India's top telecom firm Bharti Airtel is streamlining its operations in India and South Asia under two verticals to boost efficiency. The world's fifth largest telecom company, grappling with falling profits and slowing growth, will now operate under two customer business units — one serving corporate clients (business to business or B2B) and the other handling its retail offerings (business to customer or B2C) — effective August 1, the company said in a statement.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering sweeping changes in the country's proposed new telecom policy. The department is planning a complete overhaul of the archaic Indian Telegraph Act. Under the new telecom policy, DoT also wants to replace the rollout obligation clause for broadband operators with a new incentive scheme. Other key proposals include re-farming of spectrum with operators for 3G and 4G and setting up of a telecom security council to oversee and audit all issues in this area.
Following its earlier tie-up with the State Bank of India for a joint venture, Airtel is now the first telecom operator to allow you to use your phone to make payments directly. It’s a small launch – right now only in Gurgaon, but Airtel has tied up with merchants, including coffee shops and restaurants, who will accept payments via Airtel Money. The service will be next launched in Delhi, and then in other Indian cities.
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