India launches telecom policy consultation, eyes $100b investment

Telecom Asia staff writer
04 Jan 2018

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper seeking views from all stakeholders to develop the country’s New Telecom Policy for 2018, the Hindu Business Line reported.

The consultation paper issued on January 1, 2018 outlines a four-year plan with a wide range of measures that designed to propel India into being a frontrunner in the fourth industrial revolution.

These include: attracting investments equivalent to $100 billion in the communication sector; achieving 900 million broadband connections at a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps; developing 10 million public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country; propeling India into the top-50 nations in terms of network readiness.

“Through the present consultation paper, the Authority intends to seek views of stakeholders on the inputs for formulating National Telecom Policy 2018,” TRAI said.

The regulator said the inputs have been prepared based on preliminary discussions with multiple stakeholders, including telecoms operators, equipment manufacturers, industry bodies, and cloud-service providers.

TRAI said NTP-2018 can have twin goals: to facilitate development of communication infrastructure and services to achieve inclusive socio-economic growth in the country; and to propel India to become the frontrunner in the fourth industrial revolution.

Among other goals are increasing rural tele-density to 100%, providing data connectivity of at least 1 Gbps speed to all gram panchayats, and enabling access to high-quality wireless broadband services at affordable prices to 90% of the population.

To establish India as a global hub for data communication, systems and services, TRAI has proposed prescribing licensing and regulatory framework for cloud-service providers; declaring data privacy, protection, and security laws; prescribing policy for cross-border data transfer; enacting net-neutrality laws; and incentivizing setting up of International Data Centres in India.

The consultation closes on January 19, 2018 TRAI said.

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