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TRAI seeks industry views on exit policy for telecom operators

The regulator said the DoT had requested it in December 2011 to recommend an exit policy for licencees of all types of licences that wish to exit from provisioning of telecom services under a licence

New Delhi: In a move that will pave the way for the exit of unsuccessful telecom service providers from the business, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday issued a pre-consultation paper on a proposed exit policy for various telecom licence holders, reports PTI.

“To solicit the comments and views from all the stakeholders on issues, implications... to the individual licensees, to the government revenues and to the telecom sector as a whole on the exit policy for various telecom licences, TRAI has released a pre-consultation paper,” TRAI said in a statement.

The last date for submission of responses is 16 January 2012.

The regulator said the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had requested it in December 2011 to recommend an exit policy for licencees of all types of licences that wish to exit from provisioning of telecom services under a licence.

TRAI has asked for stakeholders’ views on the proposed policy on surrender of spectrum by telecom players and if any refund should be made, along with other provision for the telecom exit policy.

At present, there is an exit option for Internet Service Providers (ISP), but not for other telecom licence holders.

ISPs who have already started Internet services and want to surrender the licence are permitted to do so without any surrender charges, provided they gives due notice to subscribers.

In the case of ISPs that have missed the deadline for roll-out of Internet services, they have the option to surrender the licence by paying 5% of the Performance Bank Guarantee (PGB) as a surrender charge within six months of notification.

All ISPs that have not rolled out services and want to surrender licenses may be allowed to do so within six months from the date of notification by paying 2.5% of the PBG as surrender charges.

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