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TRAI, DoT differ on registration of internet-based other service providers

The telecom regulator on Monday reiterated its view on exempting data/internet-based and captive contact centres from detailed registration, while suggesting the same for other service providers (OSPs) using voice component. The department of telecommunications (DoT) though is of the view that data/internet and voice-based OSPs should undergo similar registration process.

“The registration process will allow good record keeping and proper scrutiny of the information of all OSPs including data/internet based OSPs (without voice component),” DoT told the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, while seeking clarification on recommendations issued for OSPs in October 2019.

Trai recommended that no registration was required for purely data-based OSPs who do not have connectivity to carry voice traffic. “It would give a boost to and encourage faster roll out of data-based OSPs, resulting in ease of doing such businesses,” Trai added.

OSPs offer IT-enabled, or application, services such as business process outsourcing (BPOs), call centres, tele-trading, telemarketing, network operation centres, e-commerce, tele-banking and other IT-enabled services.

In its recommendations published on 21 October, 2019, Trai mooted that only those Contact Centre Service Providers (CCSP) and Hosted Contact Centre Service Providers (HCCSP) who provide platform as a service (PaaS) and resell telecom resources such as bandwidth will need a Virtual Network Operator, or VNO, licence.

Trai clarified that the platform provided by CCSP/HCCSP facilitates receiving calls using telecom resources owned by OSPs. Thus, DoT’s concerns of CCSP/HCCSP collecting, carrying, and delivering messages appear to be incorrect.

According to the Trai, CCSP/HCCSP are service providers who have data centers and facilities to provide infrastructure for setting up of a call centre/contact centre instantly.

Trai and DoT have different views on submission of bank guarantee to share infrastructure between the domestic and international OSP of the same company. While Trai believes that a bank guarantee could act as a barrier for a company to start a BPO business, the DoT is of the view that such guarantees prevent violations.

The DoT said if an OSP fails to comply with a penalty order, bank guarantees can be invoked to recover the said amount. However, the telecom regulator feels that OSPs should be allowed to decide on submission of bank guarantees for sharing infrastructure.

“Provision of imposing penalties, in case of violations, has already been recommended which will act as a deterrent in itself (for OSPs),” Trai added.

The sector regulator reiterated that authorities will have the option of cancelling OSP registration, disconnect their telecom resources and invoking relevant provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act if penalties are not submitted. Live Mint

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