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DoT may seek Trai view on virtual operators again

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: The department of telecom (DoT) is likely to seek Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) recommendations on mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), who offer services by tying up with existing operators without buying spectrum.

“Trai had given recommendations on MVNO on 12 April 2011. DoT may again request Trai to give its recommendation on the entire issue of resale at service level under various service authorisations under unified licence,” an official source said.

It had said that a unified licence holder who does not posses spectrum should be allowed to work as MVNO but will cease to be in that category on procuring spectrum.

The regulator had recommended that MVNOs be allowed to set up their own infrastructure and fulfil all obligations like full fledged telecom operators.

Trai, however, had restricted that they should not partner with more than one telecom operator within a district.

DoT is likely to seek Trai’s view on need and timing for introduction of new service provider, terms and condition of such service provider and number of operators.

Trai recommendation will be considered by DoT while preparing guidelines for MVNOs.

MVNOs will help the bleeding telecom operators to sell their service and lower the burden of operational expenditure.

Richard Branson-promoted Virgin Group had started providing mobile services in partnership with telecom operator Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL). Industry body Cellular Operators Association of Indi (COAI) objected to partnership between them and called Virgin Mobile an MVNO.

Telecom licence conditions did not allow MVNOs to operate in India. DoT later gave a clean chit to TTSL-Virgin Mobile after scrutinizing deal but Virgin exited from the partnership in 2011.

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