WPC Restrictions on Grant of License

The need for high-speed data circuits grew with the growth of the software
industry. As more and more software houses came up, there was an increasing need
for providing international private leased line circuits. All such circuits were
provided by VSNL until STPI came on the scene. While both these organizations
had their own up-linking facilities; it was the last mile connectivity that
created the problem. It was at this time that spread spectrum radios made their
entry into India to fill the void of non-availability of copper in the last

Soon, industrial houses with multi-location set ups in the city, started
using these radios for inter-connecting their offices. The advent of the
Internet further, fueled the requirement for such radios.

Though the radios are in the ISM Band (2.43-2.4385 GHz), which is an
unlicensed band in many countries; in India however, a license is required. The
WPC grants these licenses on request by customers. Sometime in early 1998, the
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) instructed WPC not to issue licenses for
radios operating beyond a speed of 64 Kbps. For higher speeds, a NOC is required
from DoT. This was perhaps done to prevent loss of revenue to DoT. It may be
noted though, that DoT, now BSNL, provides only 64 Kbps or 2 Mbps circuits. So,
the loss of revenue is only notional.

Present Status

There is no change in situation; WPC continues to gr