DoT may seek Trai view on virtual operators again

The Department of Telecom is likely to seek Trai recommendations on mobile virtual network operators, who offer services by tying up with existing operators without buying spectrum.

"Trai had given recommendations on MVNO...In...April 12, 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 a 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. Industry body COAI objected to partnership between them and called Virgin mobile a MVNO.

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

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