National Long Distance Services (Terms & Conditions)
1. Ownership of the Licensee Company
1.1 Foreign direct investment up to 100% with 49% under automatic route and beyond 49% through Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) route, subject to observance of licensing and security conditions by the licensee, as well as investors, as notified by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) from time to time.
(i) Both, direct and indirect foreign investment in the licensee company shall be counter for the purpose of calculating FDI.
(ii) The licensee company/Indian promoters/investment companies, including their holding companies, shall comply with relevant provisions of the extant FDI policy of the government. While approving the investment proposals, the FIPB may take into account security concerns.
1.2 The licensee shall declare compliance with license and security conditions, and the Indian and foreign equity as on 1st January and 1st July, by 7th January and 7th July respectively to the licensor. This is to be certified by the licensee company’s company secretary or statutory auditor.
1.3 The licensee shall also ensure that any change in shareholding shall be subject to all necessary statutory requirements.
1.4 A change in the name of the licensee company shall be permitted in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Companies Act, 1956.
1.5 The licensee company shall have a net worth, as well as paid up capital, of INR 2,50,00,000 (Rupees Two Crores Fifty Lakhs). The net worth shall mean the sum total, in Indian rupees, of paid up equity capital and free reserves. The net worth of promoters shall not be counted. The net worth as well as paid up capital is to be maintained during currency of the license.
2. Scope of the License
2.1 This license is granted to provide services as defined in Clause 2.2 of this license agreement on a non-exclusive basis, and others can also be granted a license for the same service.
PROVIDED always that the licensor, of its own or through a designated Authority, has the right to operate the service anywhere in India.
(a) The national long distance (NLD) service refers to the carriage of switched bearer telecommunications services over a long distance, and NLD service licensees will have the right to carry inter-circle traffic, excluding intra-circle traffic, except where such carriage is by mutual agreement with the originating service provider.
(b) The licensee can also make mutually agreed to arrangements with basic service providers for picking-up, carriage and delivery of the traffic from different legs between the long distance charging centre (LDCC) and short distance charging centres (SDCC’s).
(c) In the case of cellular mobile telephone service traffic, the inter-circle traffic shall be handed/taken over at the point-of-presence (POP) situated in the LDCA, at the location of Level-I TAX in the originating/terminating service area. For West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, such locations shall be Asansol, Shimla & Jammu respectively.
(d) A national long distance (NLD) service licensee shall be required to make its own suitable arrangements/ agreements for leased lines with access providers for the last mile. Further, NLD service providers can access subscribers directly, only for the provision of leased circuits/close user groups (CUG’s) and also for the provision of NLD voice services, only through calling cards falling within the scope of, and in accordance with, Clause 2.2(a) and 2.2(b) above. ‘Leased circuit’ is defined as virtual private network (VPN) using circuit or packet switched (IP Protocol) technology, apart from point to point non-switched physical connections/transmission bandwidth. The public network is not to be connected with leased circuits/CUG’s. It is clarified that NLD service licensees can provide bandwidth to other telecom service licensees also.
[Note: The list of different telecom service areas, which can be mentioned from time to time for the reorganization of territorial jurisdictions or administrative convenience, is annexed as Annexure III]
(e) In respect of NLD licensees who wish to provide only layer-2 and layer-3 VPN services, the following security monitoring conditions shall be applicable, in place of security monitoring conditions applicable to NLD licensees, provided the licensee obtains connectivity/bandwidth from other access service licensees/NLD licensees/ILD licensees/international gateway of ISP’s:
Necessary arrangements for enabling security monitoring shall be made available by the licensee, including its maintenance, as and when required by the designated security agencies. The cost of monitoring equipment shall be borne by the licensee. Sharing of monitoring capabilities with existing licensees, from whom bandwidth/connectivity has been taken, shall be permitted on mutually agreed terms. Surveillance and monitoring of traffic relating to existing layer-2 and layer-3 VPN licensees who obtain NLD/ILD licence shall continue as per current procedures at the international gateway of international long distance operators (ILDO’s) from whom layer-1 service or international private line circuits have been leased. Existing and future licensees of layer-2 and layer-3 VPN services shall be treated at par with regard to all the terms and conditions of the license.
(f) Access to subscribers for the provision of national long distance (NLD) voice services (excluding message services) through calling cards shall be strictly within the scope of, and in accordance with, Clause 2.2(a) and 2.2(b) above. The provision of other intelligent network-based services (except intelligent network services for the operation of calling cards), such as televoting and toll-free services, is not allowed by NLD service providers. The provision of value added services such as SMS/MMS, ringtones etc. through calling cards is also not allowed. The terms and conditions of interconnection for such access, including points of interconnection and technical aspects shall be such as are mutually agreed to between service providers, within the framework of, and in accordance with, regulations, directions, orders or instructions as may be issued from time to time by TRAI under the TRAI Act of 1997 and directions, orders or instructions as may be issued from time to time by the licensor.
The charges and sharing of revenue for the service features, network architecture and resources used for providing NLD voice services through calling cards shall be as are mutually agreed to between the service providers, within the framework of and in accordance with regulations, directions, orders or instructions as may be issued from time to time by TRAI under the TRAI Act of 1997 and directions, orders or instructions as may be issued from time to time by the licensor. The provisions of Clause 2.2(f) of the license are in addition to, and not in derogation of, other terms and conditions of the license.
(g) The licensee shall clearly indicate to the subscriber, the specifications of the services to be offered through calling cards, at the time of entering into contract with such subscribers.
Note: The list of different telecom service areas, which can be modified from time to time for the reorganization of territorial jurisdictions or administrative convenience, is annexed as Annexure III.
2.3 It is obligatory upon the licensee to provide the above-stated services of good standard by establishing a state-of-the-art digital network.
3. Duration of the License
3.1 This license shall come into force on [____] (hereinafter called the effective date of the license) and shall be valid for a period of 20 (twenty) years.
4. Extension of License
4.1 The licensor may extend, if deemed expedient, the license period by 10 (ten) years at one time, upon request of the licensee, if made during the 19th year of the license period.
5. Fees Payable
5.1 The licensee shall pay a one-time non refundable entry fee of INR 2,50,00,000 (Rupees 2.5 Crores) before the signing the license.
5.2 In addition to the entry fee described above, the annual license fee including the universla service obligation (USO) contribution at the rate of 15% of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) shall be payable. With effect from 1 January 2006, the annual licence fee, including the USO contribution shall be at the rate of 6% of the AGR.
5.3 Provided further that the fee/royalty shall be paid separately by the licensee for the use of spectrum and also for the possession of wireless telegraphy equipment as per the details prescribed by the wireless planning & co-ordination wing (WPC) which depends upon various factors such as the frequency, hop and link length, area of operation and other related aspects.
6. Schedule of Payment of Annual License Fee and Other Dues
6.1 For the purposes of the license fee at Clause 5.2 above, the 1st year shall end on 31st March following the date of commencement of the license agreement and the license fee for the first year shall be determined on a pro rata basis for the actual duration of the “year”. From the second year onwards, the year shall be of twelve English calendar months from the 1st of April to the 31st of March, for the payment of license fee.
Explanation: The license fee for the last quarter of the first year and the last year of the license will be computed with reference to the actual number of days, after excluding the earlier quarters, each being of 3 (three) months.
6.2 The license fee shall be payable in 4 (four) quarterly instalments during each financial year. The quarterly instalments of licence fee for the first three quarters of a financial year shall be payable by the licensee within 15 (fifteen) days of the completion of the relevant quarter of the year. This fee shall be paid by the licensee on the basis of actual revenues (on accrual basis) for the quarter, duly certified with an affidavit by a representative of the licensee, authorised by a board resolution, coupled with a general power of attorney. However, for the last quarter of the financial year, the licensee shall pay the licence fee by 25th March, on the basis of expected revenues for the quarter, subject to a minimum payment equal to the actual revenue share paid for the previous quarter. For delayed payment beyond the said due dates, the penalty as stipulated in the license for delayed payments will apply. The licensee shall adjust and pay the difference between the payment made and the actual amount duly payable (on accrual basis) for the last quarter of the financial year within 15 (fifteen) days of the end of the said quarter. The licensor shall have the right to inspect the books of accounts of the licensee, and, in addition have an independent audit conducted to ascertain the correctness of the license fee paid.
6.3. The quarterly payment shall be made together with a statement in the prescribed form given in Annexure A, showing the computation of revenue and license fee payable for the previous quarter. The aforesaid statement of each year shall be required to be audited by the auditors (hereinafter called the licensee’s auditors) of the licensee appointed under Section 224 of the Companies’ Act, 1956. The report of the auditor should be in prescribed form given in Annexure B.
6.4 The licensee shall adjust and pay the difference between the advance payment made and actual amount payable (on accrual basis) of the previous quarter, along with the advance payment for the current quarter.
6.5 Any delay in payment of license fee, or any other dues payable under the license beyond the stipulated period, will attract interest at a rate which will be 2% above the prime lending rate (PLR) of the State Bank of India, existing as on the beginning of the financial year (1st April) in respect of the licence fees pertaining to the said financial year. The interest shall be compounded monthly and a part of the month shall be reckoned as a full month for the purpose of calculation of interest.
6.6 Final adjustment of the license fee for the year shall be made on or before 30th June of the following year based on the gross revenue figures duly certified by the auditors of the licensee, in accordance with the provision of Companies Act, 1956.
6.7 A reconciliation between the figures appearing in the quarterly statements with those appearing in annual accounts shall be submitted along with a copy of the published annual accounts and audit report, within 7 (seven) days of the date of signing of the audit report. The annual financial account and the statement as prescribed in Clause .6.3 shall be prepared following the norms as prescribed in Annexure C.
6.8 In case the total amount paid on the self-assessment of the licensee as quarterly licensee fee for the 4 (four) quarters of the financial year falls short by more than 10% of the payable license fee, it shall attract a penalty of 50% of the entire amount of short payment. This amount of short payment along with the penalty shall be payable with 15 days of the date of signing the audit report on the annual accounts, failing which interest shall be further charged per terms of Clause 6.5. However, if such short payment is made good within 60 days from the last day of the financial year, no penalty shall be imposed.
6.9 The fee/royalty described at 5.3 above shall be payable at such time(s) and in such manner as the wireless planning and coordination (WPC) wing of the Ministry of Communications may prescribe from time to time.
6.10 All sums becoming due and payable as mentioned in this license agreement shall be paid by the licensee through a demand draft or pay order payable at New Delhi, drawn on any scheduled bank, in favour of the Pay & Accounts Officer (HQ), DOT or any other Authority if so designated by licensor.
6.11 The licensor, in order to ensure proper and correct verification of revenue share paid, can, if deemed necessary, modify, alter, substitute and amend whatever stated in Clause 6.3, 6.7, 8.5 and 8.6 of Schedule I hereinbefore and hereinafter written.
7. Financial Conditions
7.1 Financial Bank Guarantee: The licensee shall submit a financial bank guarantee (FBG) valid for 1 (one) year, from any scheduled bank in India or from any Indian public financial institution (IPFI) duly authorised to issue such bank guarantees, in the prescribed proforma annexed (in the license agreement for national long distance services). The amount of FBG shall be equivalent to the estimated sum payable for 2 (two) quarters towards the license fee, and other dues not otherwise securitised. The amount of FBG shall be subject to periodic review by the licensor and the FBG shall be accordingly renewed by the licensee from time to time, for such amount as directed by the licensor. Initially, the FBG, valid for a period of 1 (one) year, shall be for an amount of INR 20,00,00,000 (Rupees Twenty Crores) which shall be submitted within 1 (one) year from the effectice date of the license agreement, but prior to the commencement of the service. The service shall not be commenced unless the FBG is submitted in the prescribed format for the requisite amount.
7.2 The fees and royalties for the use of spectrum and also for the possession of wireless telegraphy equipment shall be separately securitised by furnishing a financial bank guarantee in the performa annexed of equal amount valid for a period of one year renewable from time to time till final clearance of all such dues.
7.3 The licensee, on its own, shall extend the validity period of the financial bank guarantee for similar terms, at least one month prior to the date of its expiry, without any demand or notice from the licensor on a year-to-year basis. Any failure to do so shall amount to a violation of the terms of the license and entitle the licensor to encash the financial bank guarantee and to convert it into a cash security, without any reference to the licensee at its own risk and cost. No interest or compensation whatsoever shall be payable by the licensor on such encashment.
7.4 Without prejudice to its rights of any other remedy, the licensor may encash the FBG in case of any breach in the terms and conditions of the license by the licensee.
7.5 Provided that since the licensor has agreed, as per the provisions of Clause 5.3 above, to pay the revenue share as licence fee payable by licensee, net of taxes, for a period of 5 (five) years with effect from April, 2001, the licensee shall be exempt from the obligations of submitting the FBG till April, 2006.
8. Preparation of Accounts
8.1 The licensee will draw, keep and furnish independent accounts for the service and shall fully comply with such orders, directions or regulations as may be issued from time to time by the licensor or TRAI as the case may be.
8.2 The licensee shall be obliged to:
a) Compile and maintain accounting records, which are sufficient to show and explain its transactions in respect of each completed quarter of the license period, or of such lesser periods as the licensor may specify, fairly presenting the costs (including capital costs), revenue and financial position of the licensee’s business under the license, including a reasonable assessment of the assets employed in and the liabilities attributable to the licensee’s business, as well as, for the quantification of revenue or any other purpose.
b) Procure, in respect of each of those accounting statements prepared in respect of a completed financial year, a report by the licensee’s auditor, in the format prescribed by the licensor, stating inter alia whether, in his opinion, that statement is adequate for the purpose of this condition, and thereafter deliver to the licensor, a copy of each of the accounting statements not later than two months after the end of the period to which they relate.
c) Send to the licensor, a certified statement sworn on an affidavit, by authorised representative of the company, containing a full account of the revenue earned from the service for each quarter separately, along with the payment for the following quarter.
(a) The licensor or TRAI, as the case may be, shall have a right to call for, and the licensee shall be obliged to supply and provide for, the examination any books of accounts that the licensee may maintain in respect of the business carried on, to provide the service(s) under this license, at any time, without recording any reasons thereof.
(b) The licensee shall invariably preserve all billing and all other accounting records (electronic as well as hard copy) for a period of 3 (three) years from the date of publishing duly audited and approved accounts of the company, and any dereliction thereof shall be treated as a material breach independent of any other breach, sufficient to give a cause for cancellation of the license.
8.4 The records of the licensee will be subject to such scrutiny as may be prescribed by the licensor, so as to facilitate independent verification of the amount due to the licensor as its share of the revenue.
8.5 The licensor may, on forming an opinion that the statements or accounts submitted are inaccurate or misleading, order an audit of the accounts of the licensee, by appointing an auditor at the cost of the licensee, and such auditor(s) shall have the same powers which the statutory auditors of the company enjoy under Section 227 of the Companies Act, 1956. The remuneration of the auditors, as fixed by the licensor, shall be borne by the licensee.
8.6 The licensor may also get conducted, a ‘special audit’ of the licensee company’s accounts/records by “special auditors”, the payment for which at a rate as fixed by the licensor, shall be borne by the licensee company. This will be in the nature of auditing as described in Clause 8.5 above. The special auditors shall also be provided the same facility and have the same powers as that of the companies’ auditors as envisaged in the Companies Act, 1956.
8.7 The licensee shall be liable to prepare and furnish the company’s annual financial accounts according to the accounting principles prescribed in Annexure C, and the directions given by the licensor or TRAI, as the case may be, from time to time.
9. Delivery of Service
9.1 The licensee shall intimate the licensor of the commencement of services, within 15 (fifteen) days of such commencement.
10. Requirement to Furnish Information to the Licensor and TRAI
10.1 The licensee shall be obliged to furnish all information to the licensor as may be called upon from time to time. The licensee shall also submit information to TRAI, as per any order or direction or regulation issued from time to time under the provisions of the TRAI Act, 1997 or any amended or modified statute.
10.2 The licensee shall disclose complete details of the terms and conditions and obligations under all contracts entered into with infrastructure providers and other licensed service providers, on the sharing of infrastructure/backbone for the provision of services, or any change thereof, within 15 (fifteen) days of entering into such contracts etc. and shall also provide the authenticated copies of all such contracts within such period.
10.3 The licensee shall, in no case, permit connectivity or similar type of service to any other persons or erstwhile licensees (including those other service providers who do not require a license under section 4 of the Indian Telegraph Act,1885) whose license is either terminated or suspended, or not in operation at a given point of time. In the event of any connectivity allowed beforehand, the licensee shall be obliged to disconnect or sever connectivity immediately, without loss of time, and further, upon receipt of any reference from the licensor in this regard, the disconnection shall be made effective within an hour of receipt of such reference. The licensee shall keep the licensor indemnified from any claims of such telecom service provider or third party. On the question of disconnectivity, the decision of the licensor shall be final.
11. Restrictions on the Transfer of License
11.1 The licensee shall not, without the prior written consent of the licensor as described below, either directly or indirectly, assign or transfer this license in any manner whatsoever to a third party, or enter into any agreement for sub-licensing and/or partnership, relating to any subject matter of the license, to any third party either in whole or in part i.e. no sub-leasing/partnership/third party interest shall be created.
PROVIDED that the licensee can always employ or appoint agents and employees.
11.2 The licensee may transfer or assign the license agreement with the prior written approval of the licensor to be granted on fulfilment of the following conditions:
(i) When transfer or assignment is requested in accordance with the terms and conditions, on the fulfilment of procedures of the tripartite agreement if already executed amongst the licensor, licensee and lenders; or
(ii) Whenever amalgamation or restructuring i.e. a merger or demerger is sanctioned and approved by the High Court or Tribunal, as per the law in force, in accordance with the provisions, more particularly of Sections 391 to 394 of Companies Act, 1956; and
(iii) The transferee/assignee is fully eligible, in accordance with the eligibility criteria contained in the tender conditions, or in any other document for the grant of fresh license in that area, and shows its willingness, in writing, to comply with the terms and conditions of the license agreement including past and future roll-out obligations; and
(iv) All past dues are fully paid till the date of transfer/assignment by the transferor company, and thereafter, the transferee company undertakes to pay all future dues inclusive of anything remained unpaid of the past period by the outgoing company.
12. Modifications in the Terms and Conditions of the License
12.1 The licensor reserves the right to modify, at any time, the terms and conditions of the the license, if, in the opinion of the licensor, it is necessary or expedient to do so in public interest or in the interest of the security of the state or for the proper conduct of services. The decision of the licensor shall be final in this regard.
13. Suspension, Revocation or Termination of the License
13.1 The licensor reserves the right to suspend the operation of this license, in whole or in part, at any time, if, in the opinion of the licensor, it is necessary or expedient to do so in public interest or in the interest of the security of the state or for the proper conduct of services. The license fee payable under Clause 5.2 to the licensor will not be required to be paid for the period for which the operation of this license is suspended in whole.
PROVIDED that the licensor shall not be responsible for any damage or loss caused or arisen out of the aforesaid action.
PROVIDED FURTHER that the suspension of the license will not be a cause or ground for extension of the period of the license.
13.2 The licensor may, without prejudice to any other remedy available to it for the breach of any conditions of the license, by a written notice of 30 (thirty) days, issued to the licensee at its registered office, terminate this license under any of the following circumstances :
If the licensee:
a) fails to commission or deliver the service within the time period(s) specified in the license.
b) fails to perform any obligation(s) under the license, including remittance of timely payments of fee and other dues due to the licensor;
c) fails to rectify, within the time prescribed, any defect as may be pointed out to the licensee by the licensor.
d) goes in liquidation or ordered to be wound up.
e) is recommended by TRAI for the termination of license for non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the license.
f) fails to comply with FDI norms.
(ii) The licensor may also impose a financial penalty not exceeding INR 50,00,00,000 (Rupees 50 Crores) for the violation of terms and conditions of the license agreement.
13.3 The licensee may surrender the license by giving a notice of at least 60 (sixty) days in advance. In that case, the licensee shall notify all its subscribers of the consequential withdrawal of services, by sending a 30 (thirty) days’ notice to each of them. The licensee shall pay all fees payable by it till the date on which the surrender of the license becomes effective.
13.4 It shall be the responsibility of the licensee to maintain the quality of service (QoS) standards, even during the period when notice for surrender of the license is pending, and if the QoS is not maintained during the notice period, it shall be treated as a material breach liable for termination.
13.5 The licensor reserves the right to revoke the license at any time in the interest of public by giving a notice of 60 (sixty) days from the receipt of such notice.
13.6 The licensor reserves the right to take over the entire services, equipment and networks of the licensee, or revoke/terminate/suspend the license in the interests of the public or national security or in the event of national emergency/war or low intensity conflict or similar type of situations. Further, the licensor reserves the right to keep any area out of the operation zone of the service, if implications of security so require.
14. Actions Pursuant to Termination of the License
14.1 If, under the license agreement, an event occurs which entitles the licensor to terminate the license agreement, the licensor shall proceed in accordance with the terms and conditions provided in the tripartite agreement wherever such agreement is executed and signed. In cases where no such agreement is signed, the action will be taken as per the clauses given below.
14.2 Whenever the license is terminated or not extended, the licensor may, in order to ensure the continuity of service, issue a license to another Indian company for running the service. In such circumstance, the licensor may issue a license to a new company who has entered into an agreement with the outgoing licensee for taking over the latter’s network and assets on mutual terms agreed to amongst them. However, this shall not be interpreted to fasten any liability of payment or otherwise on the licensor.
14.3 The issuance of the aforesaid license shall be taken as a re-issuance of the old license on the old/already settled terms and conditions for the unexpired period.
14.4 On termination, surrender or expiry of the license, the financial bank guarantees (FBG) shall be released to the licensee only after ensuring clearance of all dues which the licensee is liable to pay. In case of any failure of the licensee to pay the amounts due to the licensor, the outstanding amounts shall be realised through encashment of the FBG, without prejudice to any other action(s) for recovery of the amounts due to the licensor.
15. Obligations Imposed on the Licensee
15.1 The provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933, and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, as modified from time to time, or any other statute on their replacement shall govern this license.
15.2 The licensee shall furnish all necessary facilities as required for the application of the provisions of Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, whenever the occasion so demands. Nothing provided and contained anywhere in this license agreement shall be deemed to adversely affect anything provided or laid down under the provisions of the Indian Telegraphs Act, 1885 or any other law in force.
16. Network Standards
16.1 The licensee will ensure adherence to the national fundamental plan and technical standards as prescribed, from time to time, by the Department of Telecommunications in this respect.
16.2 In case of new technologies, where no standards have been determined, the licensee will seek the approval of the licensor before deploying them, and in such cases, the standards specified by the Telecom engineering Center (TEC)/International Telecom Union (ITU), or technologies that are successfully in use internationally for at least 1 (one) year, for 1,00,000 (One Lakh) subscribers, shall be preferred for adoption as the approved technology.
16.3 Interconnection with switched networks of different service providers within India shall be as per national standards of CCS No.7, issued from time to time by the Telecom Engineering Center (TEC). For interconnection with packet-switched networks of different service providers within India, the relevant national standards are to be followed. For inter-networking between circuit-switched and VoIP-based networks of NLD service licensees & access service licensees, the NLD service licensee shall install a media gateway switch. There shall be no bar on installation of media gateway switches by access service licensees.
16.4 Requisite monitoring facilities shall be provided by the licensee, as and when required by the licensor. The details of leased-circuit provided by the licensee shall be provided monthly to security agencies and the Senior DDG (Vigilance), Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi.
16.5 Licensees (who are international long distance (ILD), national long distance (NLD), basic or cellular mobile telephone service (CMTS) operators) can have only one switch to perform the functions of ILD/NLD/CMTS/basic services, provided that the switch is located at the same station and separate accounts of all the operations are maintained, by duly apportioning the costs between various services. A separate TAX and gateway switch is not mandatory. NLD service providers are permitted to deploy circuit-switched or managed packet-switched networks to engineer their NLD networks.
17. Network Interconnection
17.1 It shall be mandatory for basic service providers, cellular mobile service providers, unified access service providers, cable service providers, to provide interconnection to national long distance (NLD) service providers, whereby subscribers could have a free choice to make inter-circle/international long distance calls through an NLD service provider.
17.2 National long distance (NLD) service providers shall be required to make their own suitable arrangements/agreements for leased lines with access providers for the last mile. Further, NLD service providers can access subscribers directly, only for the provision of leased circuits/closed user groups (CUG’s). Leased circuit is defined as a virtual private network (VPN) using circuit or packet-switched (IP Protocol) technology apart from point-to-point non-switched physical connections/transmission bandwidth. The public network is not to be connected with leased circuits/CUG’s. It is clarified that NLD service licensees can provide bandwidth to other telecom service licensee also.
17.3 The licensee may enter into suitable arrangements with other service providers to negotiate interconnection agreements, whereby the interconnected networks will provide the following:
a) To connect, and keep connected, to their applicable systems;
b) To establish and maintain such one or more Points of Interconnect as are reasonably required and are of sufficient capacity and of sufficient numbers to enable transmission and reception of the messages by means of the Applicable Systems,
c) To meet all reasonable demand for the transmission and reception of messages between the interconnected systems.
17.4 The terms and conditions of interconnection, including standard interfaces, points of interconnection and technical aspects will be such as are mutually agreed to between the service providers.
17.5 The licensee shall, for the purpose of providing the service, install its own equipment so as to be compatible with other service/access providers’ equipment to which the licensee’s applicable systems are intended for interconnection.
17.6 The licensee shall comply with any order or direction or regulation on interconnection issued by TRAI under the TRAI Act, 1997.
17.7 The licensee shall operate and maintain the licensed network, conforming to quality of service (QoS) standards to be mutually agreed to between service providers, in respect of network-network interfaces.
17.8 The charges for access or interconnection with other networks for the origination, termination and carriage of calls shall be based on mutual agreements between service providers, subject to the restrictions issued from time to time by TRAI under the TRAI Act, 1997.
17.9 The network resources, including the cost of upgrading/modifying interconnecting networks to meet the service requirements of the service will be provided by the service provider seeking interconnection. However, mutually negotiated sharing arrangements for the cost of upgrading/modifying interconnecting networks between service providers shall be permitted.
17.10 The NLD service licensee shall, in no case, permit connectivity or similar types of services to any other person or licensee (including those other service providers (OSP’s) who do not require a license under Section 4 of the Indian Telegraph Act,1885) whose license is either terminated or suspended, or not in operation at any given point of time. In the event of any connectivity allowed beforehand, the NLD service licensee shall be obliged to disconnect or sever connectivity immediately, without loss of time, and further, upon receipt of any reference from the licensor in this regard, the disconnection shall be made effective within an hour of receipt of such reference. The NLD service licensee shall keep the licensor indemnified from any claims from such telecom service providers or third parties. On the question of disconnection, the decision of the licensor shall be final.
18.1 The licensee will charge tariffs for the service as per TRAI tariff orders/regulations/directions issued in this regard from time to time. The licensee shall also fulfil requirements regarding the publication of tariffs, notifications and the provision of information as directed by TRAI through its orders/regulations/directions issued from time to time, as per the provisions of the TRAI Act, 1997, as amended from time to time.
19. Customer Service
19.1 The licensee shall provide services to any individual or legal person, without any discrimination, unless otherwise directed by the licensor or TRAI as the case may be.
19.2 Subject to Clause 19.1, the licensee shall ensure continuity of service to its customers.
19.3 The licensee’s contractual obligations to its subscribers will include the terms and conditions under which the services may be obtained, utilised and terminated. The licensee shall notify, in writing, all the arrangements with respect to repair, fault rectification, compensation or refunds.
19.4 Any dispute with regard to the provision of service shall be a matter only between the aggrieved party and the licensee, who shall duly notify this to all before providing the service. And, in no case, shall the licensor have any liability or responsibility in this matter towards the aggrieved party.
20.1 The licensee shall offer, either itself directly or through access providers, itemised billing services to its customers. In every case, the licensee shall be responsible to its customers and shall ensure fulfilment of its obligations in this regard. The licensee shall also maintain necessary records for the billing cycle as specified by the licensor or TRAI from time to time.
20.2. The licensee will provide itemised billing to its customers, without demanding any extra charge, either directly or through access providers. A billing handling charge, as mutually agreed to with the NLD service provider, may be payable to access providers, coinciding with the billing schedule of access providers.
20.3 All complaints of customers in this regard will be addressed/handled as per guidelines, orders, regulations or directives issued by the licensor or TRAI from time to time.
21. Confidentiality of Customer Information
21.1 Any encryption equipment connected to the licensee’s network for specific requirements has to have prior evaluation and the approval of the licensor or officer specially designated for this purpose. However, the licensee shall have the responsibility to ensure protection of privacy of communications and to ensure that unauthorised interception of message does not take place.
21.2 Subject to the conditions contained in these terms and conditions, the licensee shall take all necessary steps to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of any information about a third party and its business, to whom it provides the service, and from whom it has acquired such information by virtue of those services, and shall use its best endeavours to secure that:
a) No person acting on behalf of the licensee, or the licensee, divulges or uses any such information, except as may be necessary in the course of providing such services to the third party; and
b) No such person seeks such information other than is necessary for the purpose of providing services to the third party.
PROVIDED the above para shall not apply where:
a) The information relates to a specific party and that party has consented in writing to such information being divulged or used, and such information is divulged or used in accordance with the terms of that consent; or
b) The information is already open to the public and otherwise known.
21.3 The licensee shall take necessary steps to ensure that the licensee, and any person(s) acting on its behalf, observe confidentiality of customer information.
21.4 The licensee shall, prior to the commencement of services, confirm, in writing, to the licensor, that the licensee has taken all necessary steps to ensure that it, and its employees, shall observe confidentiality of customer information.
22. Quality of Service
22.1 The licensee shall ensure the quality of service (QOS) standards as prescribed by the licensor or TRAI. The licensee shall adhere to such QoS standards and provide timely information as required therein.
22.2 The licensor or TRAI may carry out performance tests and also evaluate the QoS parameters in the licensee’s network at any time during the tenure of the license. The licensee shall provide ingress and other support, including instruments, equipment etc. for such tests.
22.3 The licensee shall enforce and ensure QoS, as prescribed by the licensor, from infrastructure provider(s) with whom it may enter into agreement/contract for leasing/hiring/buying or any such instrument for the provision of infrastructure or provision of bandwidth and/or switch capacity.
23. Security Conditions
23.1. The licensee shall provide necessary facilities to the government, depending upon the specific situation at the relevant time, to counteract espionage, subversive acts, sabotage or any other unlawful activity.
23.2 The licensee shall make available, on demand, to the agencies authorised by the licensor, full access to switching centres, transmission centres, routers etc. for technical scrutiny and for inspection, which can be a visual inspection or an operational inspection.
23.3 All foreign personnel likely to be deployed by the licensee for the installation, operation and maintenance of the licensee’s network shall be security cleared by the government of India prior to their deployment. The security clearance will be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, who will follow standard drill in the matter.
Note: As per paragraph 2 of Press Note 3 (2007 Series) issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, it is obligatory on the part of telecom service providers that the position of the Chairman, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and/or Chief Financial Officer (CFO), if held by foreign nationals, are to be security vetted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Security vetting shall be required periodically on a yearly basis.
Service period/tenure of an employee, for the post of Chairman, Managing Director, CEO and/or CFO, including foreign nationals, is decided by the service providers themselves. Since security clearance to foreign nationals is granted only for one year, it is the responsibility of service providers to repeat the process of security vetting for subsequent years if a foreign national holds such post for more than a year.
All NLD/ILD service providers are requested to review the tenure of foreign nationals and to ensure that the process of security vetting is repeated for the subsequent year, in the case any foreign national holds such a post, as mentioned above, for more than one year.
23.4 The licensee shall ensure the protection of privacy of communications and ensure that unauthorised interception of messages does not take place.
23.5 The licensor shall have the right to take over the service, equipment and networks of the licensee, or revoke/terminate/suspend the license, either in part or in whole of the service area, as per directions if any, issued in the public interest, or in the case of emergency or war or low intensity conflict or any other eventuality.
PROVIDED that any specific orders or directions from the government issued under such conditions shall be applicable to the licensee and shall be strictly complied with.
PROVIDED FURTHER that the licensor reserves the right to direct the licensee to keep any area out of the operation of the service, if security implications so require, and the licensee shall abide by such directions without the slightest deviation.
23.6 The licensor reserves the right to modify these conditions, or incorporate new conditions, considered necessary in the interest of national security and public interest.
23.7 The licensee will ensure that the telecommunications installation carried out by it should not become a safety hazard, and is not in contravention of any statute, rule or regulation and public policy.
(i) Licensees shall be completely and totally responsible for the security of their networks. They shall have a well-outlined organisational policy on security and security management of its network, Network forensics, network hardening, network penetration test, risk assessment, actions to fix problems and to prevent such problems and to prevent such problems from reoccurring etc. should be part of the policy and they should take all measures in respect of these activities. They should submit their policy to the licensor within 30 (thirty) working days from the date of this amendment for record.
(ii) In furtherance of their organisational security policy, licensees shall audit their networks or get the network audited, from a security point of view, once a year from a network audit and certification agency. The first audit of the network should be completed within 12 (twelve) months of the issue of this amendment and thereafter, once in a financial year. A list of some of the agencies that might carry out the network audit from a security point of view will be displayed on the website of the DoT. The list is purely for information dissemination as a facilitating measure and telecom service providers are free to engage the service of any other agency for this purpose, which is certified to carry out the audit as per ISO 15408 and ISO 27001 standards, because network security is their responsibility.
(iii) The licensee shall induct only those network elements into its telecom network that have been tested as per the relevant contemporary Indian or international security standards (for example, IT and IT-related elements against ISO/IEC 15408 standards; for information security management system against the ISO 27000 series standards; telecom and telecom related elements against the SGPP security standards; 3GPP2 security standards etc. from any international agency/labs of the standards e.g. Common Criteria Labs in the case of ISO/IEC 15408 standards until 31 March 2013. From 1st April 2013 the certification shall be done from an authorised and certified agency/lab in India). The copies of test results and test certificates shall be kept by the licensee for a period of 10 (ten) years from the date of procurement of equipment.
(iv) The licensee shall include all contemporary security related features and features related to communications security, as prescribed under relevant security standards, while procuring equipment, and shall implement all such contemporary features into its network. A list of features, equipment, software etc. procured and implemented shall be kept by the licensee till they are in use, which may be subjected to inspection and testing by the licensor at any time, in the network or otherwise, at the option of the licensor.
(v) The licensee shall employ only resident, trained lndian nationals as Chief Technical Officer/s (CTO), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and nodal executives for handling of interception and monitoring cases, and to be in-charge of international long distance (ILD) gateway switches, softswitches, the central database and as system administrator/s.
(vi) The license shall:
a. Ensure that all documentation, including the details of software are obtained from the manufacturer/vendor/supplier in English.
b. Keep a record of operation and maintenance procedures in the form of a manual.
c. Keep a record of all operation and maintenance command logs for a period of 12 (twelve) months, which should include the actual command given, who gave the command, when it was given (with the date, time and from where it was given). For the next 24 (twenty-four) months, the same information shall be stored/retained in a non-online mode. For this purpose, the licensee shall keep a list of user ID’s linked with the name and other details of the user, duly certified by the system administrator. The user list shall be provided to the licensor, or such agencies designated by the licensor, as and when required.
d. Keep a record of all software updates and changes. The major updates and changes should be informed to the licensor within 15 (fifteen) days of completing such updates and changes.
e. Keep a record of the supply chain of the products (hardware/software). This should be taken from the manufacturer/vendor/supplier at the time of procuring the products.
f. Comply with the conditions of remote access (RA).
(vii) The licensee shall create facilities for the monitoring of all intrusions, attacks and frauds, and report the same to the licensor and/or to CERT-In. Such facilities shall be created by the licensee within 12 (twelve) months of the issuance of this amendment and shall be reported to the licensor as and when created during this period.
(viii) The licensee, through suitable agreement clauses with its vendors, shall ensure that the vendor/supplier allows the telecom service provider/licensor/DoT and/or its designated agencies to inspect the hardware, software, design, development, manufacturing facility and the supply chain, and subject all software to a security/threat check any time during the supply of equipment. The number of such visits will be limited to 2 (two) in a given purchase order. The expenditure for such visits for an order valued at more than INR 50,00,00,000 (Rupees Fifty Crores) up to 40 man-days per visit, shall be borne by the licensee directly or through the vendor.
(a) A penalty of up to INR 50,00,00,000 (Rupees Fifty Crores) will be levied for any security breach that has been caused due to any inadvertent inadequacy/inadequacies in taking precautions on the part of the licensee, as prescribed under this amendment. The licensor shall constitute a five-member committee, which shall include two cybersecurity experts, to determine whether the breach is due to any inadvertent inadequacy or otherwise. The committee shall also decide the amount of penalty depending upon the loss, gravity of breach etc.
(b) In case of any inadequate measures, as prescribed under this amendment, acts of intentional omissions, deliberate vulnerability left into the equipment, or in the case of a deliberate attempt at a security breach, the penalty amount will be INR 50,00,00,000 (Rupees Fifty Crores) per breach. The same breach, in the same equipment, purchased through the same purchase order, or in the same lot, or the same negligence at the same time at multiple locations in an operator’s network, will be considered as a single breach for the purpose of levying penalty under this clause. The licensee shall deposit the penalty amount with the licensor within 30 (thirty) days of the issue of notice.
(c) Besides the penalty, liability and criminal proceedings under the relevant provisions of various Acts such as the Indian Telegraph Act, Information Technology Act, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) etc. can also be initiated. In such cases, the license of the licensee can also be cancelled, and the vendor or supplier who supplied the hardware/software that caused the security breach could be blacklisted from doing business in the country, or both. The licensee must include a clause in the agreement signed with the vendor/supplier about the licensor’s discretion in blacklisting of vendors or suppliers.
Note: Some other suggested steps, which help in increasing the security of the telecom network are given below (Annexure to the letter). The government may, however, make any of these suggestions mandatory whenever it feels it necessary to do so.
Some suggested steps, which help in increasing the security of the telecom networks are as follows:
a) The licensee may sign a suitable agreement with the hardware/software manufacturer/vendor and/or supplier of services to ensure that the equipment/services/software they supply are ‘safe to connect’ in the network, have been checked thoroughly for risks and vulnerabilities, all addressable vulnerabilities have been addressed and that non-addressable vulnerabilities have been listed with remedial measures and precautions have been provided. The agreement should cover aspects related to security measures like access control, password control and management etc. Clauses addressing service continuity and service up-gradation should also be suitably included in the agreement, with consequences defined for each party in the case of breach, particularly for security breaches. As an information dissemination and facilitating measure, the suggested clauses for such agreement, in the form of a template, will be available on the website of the DoT. Service providers may take all, or selected, provisions from this template, depending upon the type of services they avail from a vendor/supplier. They are free to add, modify, delete any of the clauses from this template, because security of their networks is their responsibility and they will be liable for any security breach.
b) Licensees should endeavour to create a forum, say the Telecom Security Council of India (TSCI), on a voluntary basis to increase security assurance levels and to share common issues.
(c) The licensee shall build its own capability and capacity to maintain and operate the network, preferably through local maintenance personnel, because telecom networks are security sensitive infrastructure.
23.8 The licensee shall ensure/implement the following:
(i) Active support must be extended by service providers to the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cells of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the detection of clandestine/illegal telecommunications facilities. For this purpose, the names of the nodal officers (and alternate nodal officers as communicated to law enforcement agencies for monitoring of telecommunication traffic) should also be forwarded to the respective TERM Cell of the DoT, DDG (Security) DoT and Carrier Services Cell of the DoT. The TERM Cell of DoT will contact the nodal officer/alternate nodal officer, and till the time such nomination is received, or in case of non-availability of such officer, the DoT TERM Cells will contact the Chief Executive Officer of the licensee, for such support/coordination..
(ii) Calling line identification (CLI) shall never be tampered with, as the same is also required for security purposes, and any violation of this amounts to a breach of security.
(iii) Leased circuits shall be checked for their bona fide use and to detect any misuse.
(i) The chief officer in-charge of technical network operations, and the Chief Security Officer, should be a resident Indian citizen.
(ii) Details of infrastructure/network diagram (technical details of the network) could be provided on a need-basis only to telecom equipment suppliers/manufacturers and the affiliate/parents of the licensee company. Clearance from the licensor (DoT) would be required if such information is to be provided to anybody else.
(iii) For security reasons, domestic traffic of such entities, as may be identified/specified by the licensor shall not be hauled/routed to any place outside India. For this purpose, the location of satellites serving India for domestic traffic shall not be treated as outside India.
(iv) The licensee company shall take adequate and timely measures to ensure that the information transacted through a network by subscribers is secure and protected.
(v) The officers/officials of the licensee companies dealing with the lawful interception of messages will be resident Indian citizens.
(vi) The majority directors on the board of the company shall be Indian citizens.
(vii) The positions of the Chairman, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and/or Chief Financial Officer (CFO), if held by foreign nationals, would require to be security vetted by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Security vetting shall be required periodically on yearly basis. In case something adverse is found during the security vetting, the direction of MHA shall be binding on the licensee.
(viii) The Company shall not transfer the following to any person/place outside India:-
(a) Any accounting information relating to subscribers (except for international roaming/billing).
Note: It does not restrict a statutorily required disclosure of financial nature) ; and
(b) User information (except pertaining to foreign subscribers using the Indian operator’s network while roaming).
(ix) The company must provide traceable identity of its subscribers. However, in case of providing services to roaming subscribers of foreign companies, the Indian company shall endeavour to obtain traceable identity of roaming subscribers from the foreign company as part of its roaming agreement.
(x) On request of the licensor, or any other agency authorised by the licensor, the telecom service provider should be able to provide the geographical location of any subscriber at a given point of time.
(xi) Remote access (RA) to the network would be provided only to approved location(s) abroad through approved location(s) in India. The approval for location(s) would be given by the licensor (DoT) after satisfying itself about its appropriateness.
(xii) Under no circumstances, should any remote access (RA) to suppliers/manufacturers and affiliate(s) be enabled to access the lawful interception system (LIS), lawful interception monitoring (LIM) system, call contents of the traffic and any such sensitive sector/data, which the licensor may notify from time to time.
(xiii) The licensee company is not allowed to use remote access facility for the monitoring of content.
(xiv) Suitable technical devices should be made available to the designated security agency/licensor at the Indian end, in which a mirror image of the remote access information is available on-line for monitoring purposes.
(xv) The complete audit trail of the remote access activities pertaining to the network operated in India should be maintained for a period of 6 (six) months and provided on request to the licensor, or any other agency authorised by the licensor.
(xvi) Telecom service providers should ensure that necessary provision (hardware/software) is available in their equipment for doing lawful interception and monitoring from a centralised location.
(xvii) Telecom service providers should familiarise/train Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM Cell)/security agency officers/officials in respect of relevant operations/features of their systems.
(xviii) It shall be open to the licensor to restrict the licensee company from operating in any sensitive area from a national security angle.
(xix) In order to maintain the privacy of voice and data, monitoring shall only be upon authorisation by the Union Home Secretary or the Home Secretaries of the states/union territories.
(xx) For monitoring of traffic, the licensee company shall provide access of its network and other facilities, as well as its books of accounts, to the security agencies.
24. Prohibition of Certain Activities by the Licensee
24.1 The licensee shall not engage, on the strength of this license, in the provision of any other service, other than services defined in this license agreement.
24.2 To remove any doubt, it is hereby clarified that nothing contained in Clause 24.1 above shall preclude the licensee from engaging in advertising and promotional activities relating to any of the applicable systems.
24.3 The licensee shall take measures to prevent objectionable, obscene, unauthorised or any other content, messages or communications infringing copyright, intellectual property etc., in any form, from being carried on its network, consistent with the established laws of the country. Once specific instances of such infringement are reported to the licensee by enforcement agencies, the licensee shall ensure that the carriage of such material on its network is prevented immediately.
24.4 The licensee is obliged to provide, without any delay, tracing facilities to trace nuisance, obnoxious or malicious calls, messages or communications transported through its equipment and network. Any damages arising out of default on the part of the licensee in this regard shall be payable by the licensee.
24.5 In case any confidential information is divulged to the licensee for the proper implementation of this agreement, it shall be binding on the licensee and its employees and servants to maintain its secrecy and confidentiality.
25. Interconnection Tests
25.1 The interconnection tests for each and every interface with the other service providers may be carried out by mutual arrangement between the licensee and the other party involved. The interconnection tests schedule shall be mutually agreed to. Adequate time, not less than 30 (thirty) days, will be given by the licensee for these tests.
26. Right to Inspect
26.1 The licensor, or its authorised representative, shall have right to inspect the sites used for extending the service and, in particular but not limited to, have the right to access leased lines, junctions, terminating interfaces, hardware/software, memories of semiconductors, magnetic and optical varieties, wired or wireless options and distribution frames, and also conduct performance tests, including entering into dialogue with the system through input/output devices or terminals. The licensee will provide necessary facilities for continuous monitoring of the system, as required by the licensor or its authorised representative(s). The inspection will ordinarily be carried out after reasonable notice, except in circumstances where giving such a notice will defeat the very purpose of the inspection.
26.2 Wherever considered appropriate, the licensor may conduct any inquiry, either suo moto, or on a complaint, to determine whether there has been any breach in complying with the terms and conditions of the license by the licensee, and upon such inquiry, the licensee shall extend all reasonable facilities without any hindrance.
27. Location of Switches and Transmission Centres
27.1 The licensee shall provide to the licensor, location details of switching centres, transmission centres, including routing details etc., and the location of these centres shall not be changed without prior intimation to the licensor.
28. Requirement to Furnish Information
28.1 The licensee shall furnish to the licensor, as well as to TRAI, in the manner and as per the time frames that these authorities may demand, such documents, accounts, estimates, returns, reports or other information in accordance with rules/orders as may be specified from time to time.
28.2 Engineering Details
(a) The licensee shall furnish to the licensor, in such manner and at such times as the licensor may require, complete technical details with all calculations for engineering, planning and dimensioning of the system/network, concerned relevant literature, drawings, installation materials regarding the applicable system.
(b) The list of performance tests conducted shall be furnished by the licensee 1 (one) month prior to the date of commissioning of services. The report shall clearly indicate the parameters, if any, not meeting the performance standard and the affect thereof.
(c) The licensee shall supply all tools, test instruments and other accessories to the testing party of the licensor for conducting tests.
29. Dispute Settlement
29.1 As per provisions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act,1997, as amended from time to time, the dispute between the licensee and the other telecom service providers or the licensor, shall be settled in the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.
30. Miscellaneous Conditions
(a) Interpretation of terms/definitions
30.1 Unless the context otherwise requires, the different terms and expression used in this license agreement shall have the meaning assigned to them as explained in Annexure I.
(b) Force Majeure
30.2 If at any time during the continuance of this license, the performance in whole or in part, by either party, of any obligation under this license is prevented or delayed, by reason of war, or hostility, acts of the public enemy, civic commotion, sabotage, Acts of State or directions from a statutory authority, explosion, epidemic, quarantine restriction, strikes and lockouts (not limited to establishments and facilities of the licensee), fire, flood, natural calamities or any act of God (hereinafter referred to as ‘event’) provided that the notice of happenings of any such event s given by the affected party to the other, within 21 (twenty-one) days from the date of occurrence thereof, neither party shall, by reason of such event, be entitled to terminate the license nor shall either party have any such claims for damages against the other, in respect of such non-performance or delay in performance.
PROVIDED that the services under the license shall be resumed as soon as practicable, after such event comes to an end or ceases to exist. The decision of the licensor as to whether the service may be so resumed (and the time frame within which the service may be resumed) or not, shall be final and conclusive. However, the force majeure events noted above will not, in any way, cause extension in the period of the license. While it will normally not be a ground for non-payment of license fee, the liability for payment of license fee for such inoperative period(s) due to such force majeure clause may, however, be reduced/waived by the licensor at its discretion, based on circumstances of the event.
30.3 In the event any sum of money or claim becomes recoverable from, or payable by, the licensee to the licensor, either against this license agreement or otherwise in any manner. such money or claim can be (without restricting any right of set off for counter claim given or employed by law) deducted or adjusted against any amount or sum of money then due, which at any time thereafter may become due to the licensee under this license agreement, or any other agreement or contract between the licensor and the licensee.
30.4 The aforesaid sum of money payable to the licensee company shall include any valuable security which can be converted into money.
30.5 Whenever the licensor exercises any right of set-off as envisaged hereinabove, the licensor shall expressly notify the licensee company immediately, in writing, that such right has either been exercised or is being exercised.
31. Way Leave
31.1 The licensee shall make its own arrangements for right of way (ROW). However, the central government will issue necessary notification if deemed fit under Part III of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 on request of the licensee.
PROVIDED that the non-availability of the right of way, or delay in getting permission/clearance from any agency, shall not be construed or taken as an excuse for non-fulfilment of the roll-out obligations.
32. Frequency Authorisation
32.1 A separate specific authorisation shall be required from the wireless planning and coordination (WPC) wing of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications which will permit the utilisation of appropriate frequencies/band for the establishment, possession and operation of Wireless element of the Telecom Service under specified terms and conditions including payment for said authorisation . Such grant of authorisation will be governed by normal rules, procedures and guidelines and will be subject to completion of necessary prescribed formalities.
32.2 For this purpose, a separate application shall be made to the “Wireless Advisor to the Government of India, WPC Wing, Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110 001” in a prescribed application form available from WPC Wing.
32.3 Siting clearance in respect of fixed stations and its antenna mast shall be obtained from the WPC Wing for which the applicant shall separately apply to the Secretary, Standing Advisory Committee on Frequency Allocations (SACFA) WPC Wing in a prescribed application form, to the following address:
The Secretary (SACFA), WPC Wing,
Ministry of Communications,
Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi-110 001.
Explanation: SACFA is the apex body in the Ministry of Communications for considering matters regarding coordination for frequency allocations and other related issues/matters. (Siting clearance refers to the agreement of major wireless users for location of proposed fixed antenna from the point of view of compatibility with other radio systems and aviation hazard. It involves inter-departmental coordination and is an involved process). Normally the siting clearance procedure may take two to six months depending on the nature of the installations and the height of the antenna /masts.
32.4 For establishing various point-to-point radio links, the frequency bands earmarked for various agencies has been indicated in the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP 2000). Mere indication of the band does not guarantee availability of the frequency spectrum, which has to be coordinated on case to case basis.
32.5 The licensee shall not cause, or allow to be caused, any harmful interference to other authorised users of radio spectrum. For the elimination of harmful interference, the licensee shall abide by all instructions and orders issued by the government.
33. In case of use of satellites, the necessary coordination and clearance is to be taken from the network operations and control centre (NOCC) in respect of setting up of earth station etc. apart from SACFA clearance and clearance from other authorities.