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DoT finalising the National Telecom Policy, 2005

July 15, 2005
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According to the minister of telecommunications and IT, DoT is in the process of finalising the National Telecom Policy, 2005. This policy is expected to introduce a "OneIndia" approach under which the government will introduce uniform rates across the country. All calls made within the country would cost the same as calls within a state. At present, the national market is segmented into different circles. Local calls up to 50 km cost Re 0.80 a minute while STD charges vary between Re 1 and Rs 2.65 per minute, depending on the service provider. With the "OneIndia" policy in place, calls will be charged on the basis of the length of the call and not the distance between the calling parties. However, before this policy is put in place, a number of regulatory hurdles will have to be cleared. These include discontinuation of the access deficit charge (ADC) regime and appropriate interconnect agreements. The new telecom policy is also likely to address some of the issues related to provision of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and Wi-Max services.

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