To deliver seamless information and communication technologies

The new draft Telecom Policy, unveiled by Union Communications Minister Kapil Sibal, targets convergence of mobile telephony, multimedia and broadcast services in a bid to offer superior service experience to consumers.

“We want to reposition the mobile phone from a mere communication device to an instrument of empowerment that combines communication, with proof of identity, fully secure financial and other transaction capabilities, multi-lingual services and a whole range of other capabilities that ride on them and transcend the literacy barrier,” Mr. Sibal said while unveiling the new policy.

The convergence would cover services, networks and devices. “The objective of the new policy is to deliver seamless information and communication technologies, multimedia and broadcast services on converged networks and provide superior experience to customers,” he said.

Mr. Sibal said transmission of services to consumers also needs to be optimised, irrespective of their devices or locations, by fixed mobile convergence, thus freeing spectrum for other wireless services. “It is now imperative that broadcast, cable and telecom infrastructures are converged under an appropriate regulatory framework to create a single high capacity pipe that can be used for a variety of purposes,” he said.

Convergence at both the device and carriage levels will enable services and models to evolve that are affordable from the standpoint of an average Indian.

The same set of services can be accessed via a mobile phone, TV, computer or other devices. This would lead to new services and business models covering diverse areas such as education, health, skill development, employment, e-commerce, the new policy states.

The draft policy aims to allow sharing of networks and de-linking the licensing of networks from the delivery of service to end-users to facilitate faster roll-out of services across the country.

“This will enhance the quality of service, optimise the investment and address the issue of digital divide,” it adds.

The draft also proposes to orient, review and harmonise the legal, regulatory and licensing framework in a time-bound manner to enable seamless delivery of converged services in technology neutral environment. It also aims at encouraging digitalisation of local cable networks.

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