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Telcos oppose multiple operator partnerships with VNOs

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In Short:

Indian telecom operators, like Jio, Airtel, and Vi, are against allowing Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) to partner with multiple Network Service Operators (NSOs) at a time. They fear it could lead to favoritism and technical issues. VNOs lease network capacity from telcos and resell it. The telcos believe the existing rule, allowing VNOs to access services from one operator per licensed service area, should not change.


Indian Telcos Oppose Changes to VNO Rules

telcos dont like the idea of vno

The Indian telecom operators are against altering the existing regulations regarding the number of operator partnerships a Virtual Network Operator (VNO) can have simultaneously. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently initiated a consultation process to gather opinions on whether VNOs should be permitted to access services from more than one Network Service Operator (NSO) at a time. Notable NSOs include companies like Airtel and Jio.

Opposition by Telcos

All major private telcos in India have expressed their opposition to this proposal. Jio argued that allowing VNOs to source services from multiple providers could lead to bias and foster unnecessary competition in the market. Furthermore, there are concerns about potential technical and monitoring challenges. Therefore, Jio advocates maintaining the current regulations, restricting VNOs to partnering with only one operator at a time.

Airtel pointed out that TRAI itself has deliberated on the matter and provided reasons for not supporting a multi-parenting system for VNOs. Consequently, Airtel does not see the need for such a change at present.

Vi, on the other hand, emphasized that TRAI has not outlined the implications of this change on competition. In the absence of such clarity, Vi believes that VNOs should not be allowed to collaborate with multiple telcos to offer services in the same region.

VNOs, which do not own spectrum or infrastructure, lease network capacity from telcos to resell to customers. Currently, VNOs are permitted to access services from a single telecom operator for a specific licensed service area, and they are requesting permission to partner with multiple operators within the same region.

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