TRAI consultation paper on VNOs

TRAI chairman
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday released a consultation paper on introduction of an Unified Licence (UL) regime for Virtual Network Operators (VNO).

The TRAI has sought comments from stakeholders. Sanjeev Banzal, advisor (Networks, Spectrum and Licensing) at TRAI is the contact person. You can write comments on the consultation paper by 17 April, 2017 and counter-comments by 24 April 2017.

ALSO READ: TRAI website for consultation on VNOs

The Unified License (UL) regime is expected to exploit the benefits of convergence, spectrum liberalisation and facilitate delinking of the licensing of networks from the delivery of services, so as to enable the telecom service providers (TSPs) to optimally and efficiently utilise their networks and spectrum by sharing active and passive infrastructure.

“TRAI released a Consultation Paper on Introduction of UL (VNO) for Access Service authorisation for category-B licence with districts of a state as a service area. TRAI has issued this Consultation Paper, raising specific issues for consideration of stakeholder,” the authority said in a statement.

The authority had recommended introduction of VNO in May, 2015 and subsequently the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) issued guidelines and licence agreement for the grant of UL in May last year.

The TRAI has sought to know from stakeholders whether the existing Direct Inward Dialling franchisees should be mandated to migrate to UL (VNO) category-B based licensing regime or should the licence duration be kept for 10 years, which is at par with other licences issued under UL (VNO) policy.

Summary of issues for consultation

Is there any need to introduce Cat –B VNOs in the sector?

  1. If yes, should the existing DID franchisees be mandated to migrate to UL (VNO) Cat-B based licensing regime? Do you foresee any challenges in the migration from franchisee regime to licensing regime?
  2. If no, how DID franchisee can be accommodated in the existing licensing regime in the country?

    Based on the complexities discussed in Para 13-15 above, should the scope of UL (VNO) Cat-B licensee be limited to provide landline (voice) and internet services or should these be allowed to provide mobile service also? In case mobile services for such licensees are allowed, how the issues enlisted in Para 13-15 will be addressed?

Can the license duration for UL (VNO) Cat-B be kept 10 years which is at par with other licenses issued under UL (VNO) policy?

What should be Networth, Equity, Entry Fee, PBG, FBG etc. for District level UL (VNO) Cat.-B licensee in case these are allowed for Wireline and Internet services only?

What should be Networth, Equity, Entry Fee, PBG, FBG etc. in case Cat.–B VNOs are allowed to provide mobile access service also?

Keeping in view the volume of business done by DID franchisees, what penalty structure be prescribed for UL (VNO) Cat ‘B’ licensee for violation of UL (VNO) Cat.-‘B’ license terms and conditions?

Should the UL (VNO) Cat.-B licensees be treated equivalent to the existing TSPs/VNOs for meeting obligations arising from Tariff orders/regulations /directions etc. issued by TRAI from time to time?

What QoS parameters shall be prescribed for UL (VNO) Cat.‘B’ licensees?

Should UL (VNO) Cat. ‘B’ licensees be permitted to enter into agreement to hire telecom resources from more than one TSP in its area of operation for providing voice and internet services through wireline network?

IANS