Internet to remain free and fair in India

Internet will remain free and fair in India as the telecom commission has approved net neutrality. Net neutrality requires service providers to treat all internet traffic equally & prohibits discrimination in the treatment of content. Some mission-critical applications or services like remote surgery and autonomous cars will, however, be kept out of the purview of net neutrality framework.

Bharti Infratel to merge

The Bharti Infratel has got the approval of competition watchdog Competition Commission of India for merging its operations with Indus Towers. The proposed merger values Indus Towers at an enterprise valuation of ` 71,500 crore & will create one of the largest mobile tower entities worldwide with 1.63 lakh towers in all 22 telecom circles. The combined company will own 100% of Indus Towers.

Aadhaar Virtual ID to be started from July 1

UIDAI has recently declared to accept Virtual ID from their users from 1st July from service providers and agencies like banks and telecom companies. This will give the users the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The Virtual ID will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number mapped to a person’s Aadhaar number.

New Telecom Policy by July

Communications minister Manoj Sinha has announced that new telecom policy is likely to be in place by July 2018. The government on May 1 had released the draft National Telecom Policy 2018 aiming to attract investment of $100 billion (roughly Rs. 6.7 lakh crores) in the Digital Communications sector. Govt. also aims to reform the licencing and regulatory regime to promote ease of business.

Virtual ID can be used for new SIM

14 : Consumers can either give their Virtual IDs or Aadhaar card number to get new SIMs or verify existing ones, as per a notice by the telecom department. The Virtual ID system provides users with a 16-digit randomly generated number which can be used instead of the Aadhaar number. The service will be enabled on the UIDAI website from July 1.

TRAI moots network to help in disaster relief

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended setting up of a pan-India broadband public protection disaster relief (PPDR) communications network based on 3GPP PS-LTE technology. It will be used for an ‘advanced, reliable, robust and responsive communication networks’ to be used during disasters. PPDR communication supports services such as maintenance of law and order.

Trai to tap blockchain to curb spam calls

In a first of its kind initiative, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued draft guidelines to curb pesky calls and SMSes by using blockchain technology. Blockchain will ensure two things—non- repudiative and confidentiality. Only those authorised to access details will be able to access subscriber details and only when they need to deliver service.

Draft of Telecom Interconnection released

The Indian telecom regulator released the draft amendment of telecommunication interconnection. TRAI has set time-frame for provisioning of ports for initial interconnection and augmentation to be increased to a maximum 42 working days. The draft said a service provider may request the other service provider for additional ports at a Point of Interconnection (POI).

Govt to come out with Producers’ Price Index

The government will come out with a Producers’ Price Index next month for 10 services, including telecom & railways on an experimental basis. The move will help track inflation in these services, which will also include ports, insurance, banking, transportation & air travel. 2 major indices are used currently for tracking price movement – Wholesale Price Index & Consumer Price Index.

DoT releases draft National Telecom Policy

The draft of National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2018 aka National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has been uploaded for public consultations on the Department of Telecom’s (DoT). One of the key strategies in the draft talks of recognising spectrum as a key natural resource for public benefit The draft proposes one Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.