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TRAI opposes DoT on mandatory registration of data-based other service providers

Trai has said that not forcing data-based OSPs to register would “give a boost to and encourage faster roll out of data based OSPs, resulting in ease of doing such businesses”.

Cyber security continues to be a major threat and securing critical infrastructure remains a key challenge for most nations.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has reiterated its earlier stance on registration of data-based other service providers (OSP) and said pushing them to mandatorily register would hurt attempts for improving ease of doing business for such companies. The reiteration of its earlier stance by Trai is in a response to a September 26 letter by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in which the latter had asked the telecom regulator to reconsider eight issues.

One of the prime issues in this category was the registration process to be followed for voice-based and data-based OSPs. The DoT said since the present scenario was such that both voice and data are transported as data packets over internet protocol networks, the categorisation of OSPs on the basis of voice and data/internet may not be relevant.

“It may lead to misuse by OSPs based on data/internet for transiting voice calls. Hence, DoT is of the view that categorisation of OSPs on the basis of voice and data is not required and both type of OSPs should be required to take registration,” the DoT said.

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However, Trai maintained its stance that not forcing such data-based OSPs to register would “give a boost to and encourage faster roll out of data based OSPs, resulting in ease of doing such businesses”.

The Trai and DoT have also expressed contrasting opinions on the issue of bank guarantees for OSPs. Trai, maintaining its earlier stand, said bank guarantees are perceived as a “barrier” and it was desirable to keep entry barriers low for the OSP and business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

“Many other countries are coming up to grab a larger share of this market. It is essentially desirable to keep the entry level barriers low to attract the BPO business in the country,” Trai said. The DoT, on the other hand, believes that seeking bank guarantees from OSPs would act as a deterrent for them from indulging in any violations.

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