In many respects, licensing may be considered as a variant of the BOO model of private participation. The Government grants licences to private undertakings to provide services such as fixed line and mobile telephony, Internet service, television and radio broadcast, public transport, and catering services on the railways. However, licensing may also be considered as a form of "concession" with private ownership of assets. Licensing allows competitive pressure in the market by allowing multiple operators, such as in mobile telephony, to provide competing services.

There are two types of licensing: quantity licensing and quality licensing. By setting limits through quantity licensing, the government is able to moderate competition between service providers and adjust supply between one area and other. Quality licensing however, does not place any restriction on number of providers or the amount of service produced but specifies the quality of service that needs to be provided. The government may get a fee and a small share of the revenue earned by the private sector under the licensing arrangement.


Copyright © 2008 by Transport Policy and Development Section, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).