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Operators oppose TRAI’s proposal to allow unlicensed entities to offer Wi-Fi services

June 14, 2018

Telecom operators have asked the government to reject the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) proposal to allow unlicensed entities to establish affordable Wi-Fi hotspots in public places.

In its suggestions, the TRAI has urged the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to tweak rules for internet service providers , free up new spectrum bands and expedite steps to make access devices cheaper to pave the way for affordable Wi-Fi services in public places. TRAI  said the joint involvement by aggregators and small entrepreneurs would boost employment opportunities and foster entrepreneurship in rural areas.

According to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the implementation of TRAI’s recommendations would be unfair to licensed operators. This is because licensed operators pay levies such as licence fees, spectrum usage charges and ensure adherence to regulatory and security-related requirements. Allowing the same activity to be performed by an unlicensed entity would lead to revenue losses for the financially stressed licensed operator.



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