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  • FEBRUARY 18, 2000

Open bidding for domestic long distance telephony services

According to reports, the participation of private sector players in the domestic long distance telephony markets may involve open bidding for national licenses. The licensees will be debarred from carrying intra-circle traffic.

Although a number of other regulatory measures need to be sorted out, it is nevertheless a step in the right direction. Open bidding will reduce the possibility of extended litigation as was witnessed at the time of offering licenses for cellular and fixed line telephony services. The move also marks the initiation of the process to permit competition in the domestic long distance telephony market.

The benefits of sector private participation will have more to do with the quality of service rather than costs, as the regulator stipulates these. The government's move will also lead to fresh investment, involving new technology, in the sector. This would lead to a significant improvement in the quality of domestic infrastructure, which is a must to sustain higher levels of economic growth.

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