Digital wallet firm Oxigen is in talks with state-run BSNL and other operators to start offering telecom services as a Virtual Network Operator (VNO) by the end of this year. A VNO leases bandwidth from various telecom operators to provide voice and data services to customers.
“We have large distribution network and already buying air-time with various telecom operators. The guidelines (for VNO) have just come. We will go through it and hopefully we will have our VNO operations in place definitely before the end of this year,” Oxigen Chairman and Managing Director Pramod Saxena told PTI.
The company has approached BSNL and is in discussion with some other telecom operators for setting up its VNO operations.
The Telecom Department on Friday released licence guidelines for VNOs, opening doors for new class of players which will act like retailers for telecom service providers. The entry of VNOs is expected to push down cost of providing telecom services for companies and even give them room for cutting down tariffs.
VNOs are treated as extension of Network Service Operator or Telecom Service Providers and they would not be allowed to install equipment interconnecting with network of other telecom operators.
“We are in talks with foreign players who have expertise in VNO business and can help us in setting up network. Our focus will be providing data services starting from North East and Central part of the country and then gradually be a pan-India operator,” Saxena said.
As per the guidelines, VNOs will be able to offer all telecom services provided by a telecom operator and will have to pay fee to the government accordingly.
“We have 2 lakh access point in India besides online reach. We will provide value added service, bundle financial products, e-commerce as part of our service. Oxigen will be able to leverage it digital wallet as VNO,” Saxena said.
There will be no restriction in number of VNOs that can operate in an area and also no restriction on number of VNOs that can be linked to a telecom operator network.