The Department of telecommunications (DoT), the top communication body in the nation, is looking to tighten the network roll out obligations of new 2G licensees. A committee of the department which was entrusted to review the task has in fact recommended that in case the licensed areas covers large metropolitan cities, services in the same should be rolled out with in one year instead of the existing norm of three years.
The new recommendations will be applicable on latest telecom licensees including Swan Telecom, Unitech Wireless and Datacom Solutions etc. In case these firms fail to fulfill recommended roll out obligations, they may face penalties. While there is also a clause of taking back licensees in case companies fail to fulfil mandated requirements, the government has never done this so far.
Roll out obligations relate to the speed at which a service provider should expand its networks relative to total area of operations that it gets through a license. In case of a metro city, like say Mumbai circle, the company only has one district to roll out services and therefore DoT feels that the task should be completed within one year instead of three year limit prescribed earlier.
The development comes in the light of companies like Unitech resorting to trading of licenses right under the nose of IT & Telecom Ministry making windfall pofits.