04:54 am - Thursday 27 April 2017

4G licence holders can offer voice calling services: Telecom Commission

By insightVAS - Wed Feb 20, 2:49 pm

The telecom operators with 4G licence can now offer voice calling services to its customers, a proposal passed by the government. This will be beneficial for the companies like Bharti Airtel and Reliance Infotel.

The highest decision making body of communication ministry, Telecom Commission, has allowed the 4G licence holders to not only provide high-speed internet services on mobiles but also voice calls to its customers by paying an additional 1,658 crore for a pan-India licence.

The ISP (Internet service provider) licence holders who have broadband wireless access (4G) spectrum can provide voice services using the same frequencies if they pay the additional fee,” Telecom Commission Chairman and Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said, adding the framework for the new licence regime would be ready by March. These companies will be allowed to offer all forms of communication services after migrating to a so-called unified licence, which aims to dismantle barriers between various types of communication services.

Reaction to the commission’s decision was mixed, with a section of existing mobile operators saying it was “most disturbed” by the move, its comments potentially heralding fresh litigation that could paralyse the industry yet again.

The industry body representing firms such as Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, which hold CDMA and dual technology permits, said 4G spectrum had been sold at a lower price in 2010 because it could only be used for providing data services.

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