For next year, we are preparing a timetable by mid-January of a broad list of things that we want to do.
One of the things in mind is that new technologies need a push. How can we incentivize upcoming, cutting-edge technologies such as IoT and 5G? We will do consultation about that. Like we have a paper out on cloud and M2M, we want to understand standards, interconnection frameworks for those (5G and IoT).
Why should India remain behind? If 5G has come somewhere, why should it not come to India before others? The move may also provide an opportunity to the government to attempt afresh to sell 700 MHz airwaves, which are ideally suited for 5G services. There were no takers for this spectrum band in the last auction of airwaves.
We would like to understand from the stakeholders whether there are any regulatory or legal barriers to growth of such a sector. These would not necessarily be just laying frameworks but also to understand if there are any regulatory issues.
We are proposing to improve the regulatory predictability – we will identify important issues that would be taken up in the next financial year. We will call telecom operators and stakeholders in the broadcasting sector for meetings, so as to identify the upcoming issues. After that, we will follow some process to take the viewpoints of other stakeholders also, including the public. We hope that in early March, we should be able to publish our agenda for the next fiscal year.
Many regulators around the world do this. This is one of the practices which regulators follow in various sectors like telecom. Canada does that, US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) does that, some European regulators also do that. So, we are trying to get those best practices here also.