TRAI recommends easing OSP regime

On October 21, 2019, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) submitted its recommendations on the Other Service Providers (OSP) registration framework to Department of Telecommunication (DOT). The Department had earlier written to the telecom regulator seeking its suggestions on the review of technical, financial, regulatory requirements, scope of operations and its terms and conditions of OSP registration.

The authority earlier this year published a consultation paper seeking views from the stakeholders on various aspects of the OSP regime. NASSCOM based on the industry inputs also made a submission to TRAI (available here) highlighting several challenges in the current regime.

In its response to DOT, TRAI have proposed several recommendation for making the OSP regime  simpler and business friendly.  One of the key recommendation that have been made is on the definition of Other Service Providers (OSPs).As per the proposed definition of Other Service Providers. The authority has recommended the following definition of OSP:

“Other Service Providers (OSP) is a Company or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) providing services like Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Billing Service Centre, e-Publishing Centre, Financial Service, Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), Medical Transcript Service, Network Operating Centre, Tele-Medicine, TeleEducation, Tele-Trading, Vehicle Tracking Centre or Other similar services on outsourced basis i.e. on behalf of another entity using Telecom Resources provided by authorized Telecom Service Providers. The above list of services may be modified by DoT as and when required.

 The provision of above-mentioned services by a company/LLP for captive purposes i.e. to their own customers or employees shall be excluded from the scope of OSP. Such entities may be termed as “Captive Contact Centres”.

Further for the purpose of registration, the authority has recommended OSPs can be categorised into two categorized into two categories. i.e. Voice based OSP and Data / Internet based OSP (without voice component).  While voice based OSP will still be required to apply for registration, for data/ internet based OSP, authority has recommended a registration will be in a form of intimation.

The other key recommendations that have been proposed include timebound online registration process, single registration for entities with multiple OSP centers in a particular LSA, removal of mandatory requirements related to bank guarantee and PPVPN connectivity for providing work from home; permitting sharing of Internet connectivity between OSPs belonging to the same legal entity; allowing International OSPs to have EPABX system at foreign location.

NASSCOM over the past several years have been deliberating and advocating with the Government on the need to revisit the OSP registration requirements in line with the changing business requirements and will continue to engage with Government to ensure the new OSP regime is industry friendly, enables EODB and is implemented quickly.

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