India releases draft telecom policy 2018 for comments

The India government has released the draft national digital communications policy 2018 on Tuesday.

The government is looking for comments on NTP 2018 from telecom industry stakeholders to finalize the telecom policy. In fact, a similar document was available on TRAI website saying inputs on the national telecom policy 2018.

The draft said the government aims to attract $100 billion investment in the telecom sector and ensure a broadband speed of 50 mbps for every citizen by 2022.

The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 also aims to create 40 lakh new jobs by 2022.
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The other proposals in the draft include reviewing licence fees, spectrum usage charges, and the universal service obligation fund levy, which add to the cost of telecom services,  in order to enhance ease of doing business in the sector.

New objectives

# Broadband for All
# 4 million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector
# Enhance the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017
# Propel India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017 # Enhance India’s contribution to Global Value Chains
# Ensure Digital Sovereignty

2022 Goals

# Broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to all
# Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022
# Enable 100 Mbps broadband on demand to all key development institutions
# Enable fixed line broadband access to 50% of households
# Achieve unique mobile subscriber density of 55 by 2020 and 65 by 2022
# Deployment of public Wi-Fi Hotspots to reach 5 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022
# Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas

The draft, which is available on the website of the Department of Telecom, says it aims to enhance the contribution of the digital communications space to India’s GDP to 8 per cent from about 6 percent in 2017.

Under the new policy, the government aims to enable fixed line broadband access to 50 per cent of households and start landline portability services.

The policy suggests providing universal broadband coverage at 50 mbps to every citizen and providing 1 gbps (gigabit per second) connectivity to all gram panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 gbps by 2022.

It proposes adopting Optimal Pricing of Spectrum to ensure sustainable and affordable access to digital communications.

The draft policy proposes recognising the mid-band spectrum, particularly the 3 GHz to 24 GHz range for 5G networks. It outlined roadmap for backhaul spectrum for transmitting signals between mobile towers in E and V band as per international best practices.