The department of telecommunications (DoT) has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to formulate details of an exit policy for service providers wishing to quit.
Dozens of odd operators, who were allotted Unified Access Service Licence by former telecom minister A Raja in 2008, had decided to limit their services to certain areas or had dropped plans of launching these in other circles, in the face of stiff competition.
DoT claimed that an internal note dated August 18 said that Telecom Commission, the highest policy making body of DoT, had already approved the proposal for an exit policy.
Under current licencing norms, there is no exit route for operators who've taken a UAS licence. As per the norms, if the operator decides to quit, the government would keep the money and the operator wouldn’t get the entry fee back. Nor is a refund given if an operator surrenders the spectrum following a merger with or acquisition of another company having spectrum in the same service area.
Many operators are reconsidering their decision as they have not rolled out their services yet. After Trai recommended cancelling 74 new licences due to failure in meeting rollout obligations, DoT has been exploring ways to offer some of the service providers a way out of the impasse, in which they could take advantage of an exit policy for failure to meet their roll out obligation, rather than face a stiff order for cancellation. Trai would issue a consultation paper on the issue and give its recommendations after views from all stakeholders.