The Indian telecom regulator on Friday released the recommendations for the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2018, in which it has set a target to attract an investment of $100 billion in communication by 2022 and planned to leapfrog the country into the top-50 nations in the ICT Development Index released by International Telecommunication Union every year. The industry welcomes it.
It also aims to create 2 million additional jobs in the ICT sector by 2022.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said the objective of the NTP 2018 would be to enable access at affordable prices for wireless broadband services, including through satellite to 90 per cent population by 2022.
The TRAI formulated the recommendations being requested by Department of Telecommunications to provide policy inputs.
The government aims to finalise the NTP 2018 by March end.
The TRAI in its recommendations said the objective of the policy would also be to provide 1Gbps data connectivity to all Gram Panchayats to enable wireless broadband services to inhabitants by 2022.
The TRAI envisions to become net become net positive in international trade of communication systems and services by 2022.
The sector regulator aims to deploy 2 million public WLAN including Wi-Fi hotspots in the country by 2020 and 5 million by 2022.
It said the objective is to enable access for connecting to 1 billion Internet of Things/Machine-to-Machine sensors/devices by 2020 and 5 million by 2022.
Setting up of an ombudsman based consumer grievance redressal mechanism by end of 2018 and to establish online centralised platform for provision of Right of Way permissions for single window clearance by 2019 are some other objectives laid out by the TRAI.
It said the policy should simplify licensing and regulatory frameworks, and rationalise taxes, levies and related compliances and payments by 2019.
"We strongly support the TRAI's recommendations on simplifying the licensing and regulatory frameworks and rationalizing taxes, levies and related compliance by 2019 and we expect that the same would be done at the earliest, in this year itself. We hope that the simplification of compliance includes reduction in the multiple audits, which will save the cost and effort" of the operators," said Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators' Association of India.
"While, we support these Objectives and the Strategies outlined in the Recommendations, we hope that the level playing field and regulatory equality would be maintained amongst various players," he added.
"To put in place a flexible, robust data protection regime powered by a strong encryption policy by 2019 and to establish a policy framework for facilitating setting up of data centres by 2019," the TRAI added.