08 February 2018
| Jason Mcgee-Abe
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would like to attract $100 billion of investment in the country’s communication sector by 2022, it has revealed amongst its National Telecom Policy 2018 proposals.
TRAI has released its “Inputs for Formulation of National Telecom Policy 2018” (NTP-2018) proposals, which also includes its vision that it would like to enable access for connecting to 1 billion loT/M2M sensors/devices by 2020 and 5 billion by 2022.
TRAI’s draft policies, which include renaming the telecom policy to the Information and Communication Technologies Technology Policy – 2018, have been created after preliminary discussions with telecom service providers, telecom equipment manufacturers, industry associations, consulting firms, cloud service providers etc.
Collaborative efforts by these players and the government have nurtured the Indian telecom market, the sector’s revenues have doubled from $19.6 billion in 2006 to $39.2 billion in 2016, which is expected to contribute 8.2% of GDP by year 2020.
“Digital communication has presented India an opportunity to overcome the impediments posed by deficiencies in its brick and mortar-based physical infrastructure and opened doors to new paradigms in all sectors of economy whereby the common man at the bottom of the pyramid is being served much more efficiently and at a fraction of the cost as compared to earlier days,” TRAI’s statement said.
TRAI’s recommendations, which also include restructuring the regulator so it becomes a converged body for the ICT and broadcasting sector, include the following objectives:
To develop a competitive, sustainable, and investor-friendly Information and Communication Technologies (lCT) market for rollout of state-of-the-art ubiquitous digital communication infrastructure to provide resilient, reliable, affordable. and consumer friendly products and services to meet local as well as global needs; and in the process, transform India‘s knowledge economy, support inclusive development, foster innovation, and stimulate job creation.
(i) To fulfil the information and communication needs of the individuals including persons with disabilities governments, enterprises, and industries with high quality of experience at affordable prices on a sustainable basis;
(ii) To facilitate growth of state-of-the-art, secure, and energy-efficient digital communication infrastructure for delivering ubiquitous, resilient, reliable and ultra-high speed connectivity with extremely low latency for objects, machines, and devices;
(iii) To stimulate the environment for innovation and entrepreneurial opportunities making India a global centre for research and development, patent-creation, and standardisation in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and services;
(iv) To develop indigenous technologies, equipment’s, platforms, and applications ecosystem for providing digital services to local and global markets;
(v) To establish India as a global hub for cloud computing, content hosting and delivery, and data communication systems and services in a net-neutral environment;
(vi) To protect consumers’ interests by increasing awareness and putting in place an effective / grievance redressal mechanism improving quality of experience, ensuring network, communication and data security encouraging adoption of environment and safety standards for ICT, and modernising public safety and emergency communications networks.
(vii) To attract investments by enhancing ease of doing business through simplification of licensing and regulatory frameworks rationalisation of taxes, levies and related compliances, and facilitating availability of resources including spectrum.
(i) To enable access at affordable prices for wireless broadband services, including through satellite to 90% population by 2022;
(ii) To ensure availability of bandwidth on demand through wire line, including cable TV and optical fibre networks to 30% households by 2020 and 50% households by 2022;
(iii) To achieve ‘unique mobile subscriber density’ of 55 by 2020 and 65 by 2022 by enhancing mobile network coverage to 95% of inhabitants by 2020 and 100% by 2022;
(iv) To deploy 2 million public WLAN including Wifi hotspots in the country by 2020 and 5 million by 2022;
(v) To enable access for connecting to 1 billion loT/ M2M sensors/ devices by 2020 and 5 billion by 2022; To attract an investment equivalent to $60 billion in communication sector by 2020 and $l00 billion by 2022;
(vi) To put in place an ombudsman based consumer grievance redressal mechanism by end of 2018;
(vii) To establish online centralised platform for provision of Right of Way (RoW) permissions for single window clearance by 2019;
(viii) To simplify licensing and regulatory frameworks, and rationalise taxes, levies and related compliances by 2019;
(ix) To put in place a flexible, robust data protection regime powered by a strong encryption policy by 2019.