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Telecom panel to discuss full MNP issue on Friday

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is likely to place seven major and long pending issues, including full mobile number portability (MNP), broadband network at panchayat level and spectrum sharing, before inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission in its meeting on 13 June. There is a host of issues that will be placed before the TC (Telecom Commission), an official source said, adding that matters like full MNP, GUN (government user network) over NOFN, spectrum sharing etc are awaiting the commission's decision.

The last meeting of the Commission was held on 27 March. The full mobile number portability, if approved, will enable subscribers to retain their numbers when they relocate to any part of the country. At present, portability is limited to within the same service area only. Telecom regulator TRAI has asked DoT to give operators six months time from the date the full portability is approved for making suitable changes in their networks. Under GUN project, government has plans to provide WiFi services at panchayat levels. There is an additional requirement of funds beyond around Rs 20,000 crore approve for the National Optical Fibre Network project, on which TC has to take call, for rolling out WiFi services. After approval of TC, GUN over NOFN may require cabinet nod as well, sources said.

The DoT may also place a request before the inter-ministerial panel to re-look at its decision of barring 3G spectrum sharing.
The long-pending issue of mobile services in nine states affected by Naxal menace will be also placed before the Telecom Commission. State-run BSNL has submitted a final estimate of Rs 3,241 crore to roll out this project against Rs 3,046 crore approved by Cabinet.
The other pending issues awaiting words of TC include strengthening of telecom connectivity in North East and satellite phone service licence to BSNL which is vital for security forces.

Meanwhile, State-run BSNL on Wednesday  launched two unlimited data plans for its post-paid users of North zone, targeted towards the youth and students. The unlimited plans will be offered across the country subsequently, the company said in a statement.
Currently the packs will be available in Haryana, Punjab, UP(West), UP(East), Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and J&K GSM mobile post-paid customers.

‘The new add-on data packs 240 and 340, allow unlimited data usage at monthly charges of Rs. 240 and Rs. 340 respectively,’ BSNL said.
However, customers will get reduced speed of 80 Kbps after using up 1GB and 2GB download on the packs.

‘This offer is initially for North zone circles and subsequently it will be offered in all other circles as well. The offer is specifically useful for student community and youths,’ BSNL Board Director (consumer mobility) Anupam Shrivastava said
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