The Department of Telecom has amended telecom licences to enable service providers to roll out machine-to-machine communication — a service which is considered as a key driver of 5G adoption — in the country.
While the DoT had issued machine-to-machine (M2M) guidelines in May 2018, the clause related to their provisioning was not part of the telecom licences. The DoT in the licence amendment has incorporated M2M with pan-India permit, limited to circle level and district level, according to a circular. Telecom operators interested in providing M2M services across India will have an entry fee of Rs 30 lakh, performance bank guarantee (PBG) of Rs 40 lakh and financial bank guarantee (FBG) of Rs 2 lakh.
The entry fee for the circle-level category has been fixed at Rs 2 lakh, PBG Rs 2 lakh and FBG at Rs 20,000. The entry fee, PBG and FBG for district level will be Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 2,000, respectively. The DoT has also added a clause for provisioning of audiotext or interactive voice response service (IVRS) as part of telecom licence. The amendment has been made across all categories of telecom service licences.