It should grant all unified licences: Trai

New Delhi: Telecom regulator Trai today recommended that it should be entrusted with the function of issuing unified licences and a one-time non-refundable fee of Rs 15 crore be levied for a national-level licence. Trai, in its recommendations for new telecom licensing regime, said, "In the new licensing regime, as the spectrum has been delinked from the Licence, it has been recommended that TRAI should be entrusted with the function of granting all types of Unified licences."

These guidelines are vital for telecom companies whose licences has been cancelled by Supreme Court in February. TRAI has communicated the guidelines to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for consideration. Meanwhile, Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar told PTI that DoT will try and speed up the new licensing regime in less than three months. "In normal course it (approval) takes around three months but we will try to speed up."

Once approved, telecom companies can apply for telecom licences without owning spectrum and can perform businesses that can be carried out without using spectrum. For Unified Licence framework, Trai has recommended that there shall be three levels, namely National level, Service area level and District level.

Trai recommended one time non-refundable Entry Fee for Unified Licence shall be Rs 15 crore for National level, Rs 1 crore for each Service area level Unified Licences, except for Jammu and Kashmir and North East Service areas where Entry fee will be Rs 50 lakh each. For each District level Unified Licence, the regulator has requested non-refundable entry fee of Rs 10 lakh. Till date, DoT issues all kind of telecom licences.