New Delhi: The new telecom policy, that is likely to usher in roaming free environment with one-nation, one-tariff and nation-wide mobile number portability, is likely to be delayed till June 2012.
The draft NTP 2011 was announced in October by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who had said that new policy would be ready after incorporating comments from all stakeholders by the end of 2011.
According to official statement, highlighting developments during 2011, the new "policy is likely to be approved by June 2012."
It also said that the number of telephone connections, both wireline and wireless put together, stands at 914.60 million as on October 31, 2011, against a target of 600 million at the end of March 2012.
The NTP-2011 has talked about making available secure, reliable and affordable voice telephony and high-speed broadband services to every citizen in India with special focus on rural and remote areas, to improve the broadband experience by enhancing the speed of delivery.
Further, it emphasises to make India a global hub of manufacturing for all electronic products including telecom equipment with substantial value addition within the country and safeguard security concerns of the nation.
The draft NTP 2011 said price of spectrum would be discovered through market related processes and to enable free roaming throughout the country.
In a scenario that witnessed private sector growing much faster than the public sector, the statement said the share of private sector in the number of telephones has increased from 65.32 per cent (134.48 million telephones) at the end of March, 2007 to 85.92 per cent (786 million telephones) at the end of October, 2011.
Tele density in the country is steadily increasing from 18.22 per cent as on March 31 2007 to 70.89 per cent as on March 31, 2011 and currently stands at 76.03 per cent as on October 31, 2011. However, there is a wide gap between urban teledensity (166.54 per cent) and rural tele density (36.81 per cent).
Implementation of MNP has not only given wider choices to the Indian subscribers but has also induced service providers to offer innovative, affordable and competitive traffic plans for the benefit of the masses. As on November 30, 2011, 19 million mobile customers have successfully ported their mobile numbers to the service providers of their choice.