Introduction of Virtual Network Operators (VNOs)

July 2015


VNO are entities that do not own telecom infrastructure but provide telecom services. TRAI has recommended a licensing framework for the introduction of VNO in telecom sector. Such entry will be facilitated via a mutual agreement of VNO with network operators. It shall be permitted for all services notified in unified licensing with the initial duration of license fixed for a period of 10 years further extendable up to 10 years. TRAI recommended that there will be no infrastructure required, no performance bank guarantee required and terms and conditions of sharing infrastructure shall be left to mutually agreed terms between VNO and network operators. Presently, there is no restriction on the number of VNO patented by one Network operator.

PSA view – Introduction of VNO comes as a great opportunity for small technology companies and mobile application developers and will be viewed as a step further towards advancement.

M2M Policy Roadmap issued by DOT

DoT released M2M Policy Roadmap in May 2015. M2M stands for machine to machine (M2M) which refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same ability. The policy and regulatory guidelines issued by DoT aim to standardize and regulate M2M technologies which integrate the physical infrastructure with the digital infrastructure. M2M service provider using the facilities from telecom service provider will be required to register with the DoT, fulfill the KYC norms and get SIMs issued for international roaming. All M2M services will be based on Internet Protocol and the M2M service provider will also be required to maintain updated information of the details of end devices like, make, model, registration number etc. of the machines, and the address of the physical custodian of the machine, which will ensure traceability of M2M SIMs.

PSA view – M2M opens up opportunities for many electronic and technical products. However, the policy is aimed only for such enterprises which are providing M2M services along with telecom services.

Krishna Jhala