The new telecom policy has been approved by the cabinet on May 31, 2012. The approval has replaced the rules which existed for more an a decade. The new rules will have transparency and also revive growth in the sector which in recent years has been rocked by a massive scandal.
The new policy will be separating the telecom permits and the radio airwaves. This will charge a market derived price for the lucrative airwaves among other things.
The new policy will also allow to refarm, or switch airwave bands which are held by the government agencies as well as the private telecom operators from time to time. Telecom minister Kapil Sibal after a meeting of the cabinet said that this flexibility will make way for new technologies.
On the other hand the private telecom carriers have been opposing the airwave switch plan. The telecom rules were last set in the year 1999 and India decided to overhaul the telecom rules after the below market price sale of the telecom permits bundled with airwaves were granted in the year 2008. The government has also planned to abolish zonal roaming fees which will allow the users to retain their numbers even if they move from one zone to the other.