TRAI Moots Clarity In ‘Other Service Providers’ Definition, Simplifies Norms For Some Categories
A plane flies over a telecom tower. (Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)  

TRAI Moots Clarity In ‘Other Service Providers’ Definition, Simplifies Norms For Some Categories

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has suggested exempting certain categories like internet-based and captive contact centres from detailed registration—retaining it for voice-based outsourced other service providers—in a set of recommendations that the regulator said will make India a “preferred BPO destination” and drive sector growth.

“Clarity in definition of OSP has been brought. Only voice based, outsourced OSP need to have registration at par with existing process. Data/internet based OSP would need to furnish intimation only,” the telecom sector regulator said in a statement.

Notably, though, TRAI has recommended that Contact Centre Service Provider/Hosted Contact Centre Service Provider involved in reselling of telecom resources, say bandwidth, would require a Virtual Network Operator or VNO license.

When contacted, Nasscom’s Senior Vice President, Sangeeta Gupta, told PTI that while TRAI’s suggestions to the government offer clarity on many of the challenges facing the industry, the association will await more details to see what the recommendations mean for CCSPs or HCCSPs, in particular, in terms of additional compliance burden, if any.

Meanwhile, a TRAI statement said that: “The CCSPs/HCCSPs who provide only the platform as service including a combination of the components of EPABX, IVR, call handling/administration, call recording, contact centre data analytics, customer relationship management...for contact centres, should be required to get registered with DoT.”

These players “should be an Indian company, having their data centres in India for providing the contact centre platform to OSPs,” the regulator said. TRAI recommendations also prescribe various penalties for violations of the terms and conditions.

The CCSP/ HCCSP involved in reselling of telecom resources would require VNO license, the statement added. CCSP/HCCSP should be given 3 months’ time to get themselves necessary registration/license after the declaration of the policy by the Department of Telecom, the statement released by TRAI said.

The regulator has also recommended additional clarity in the definition of OSP players. It said it expects the implementation of its recommendations to create a better environment for the growth of the sector making India as preferred BPO/ITeS destination.

“Provision of services for captive purposes, that is, Captive Contact Centres have been kept out from the scope of OSP. They would require to furnish intimation only,” it said. The complete process of registration and intimation shall be through an online portal and time-bound. Multiple OSP centres of the single company within one circle can be registered as single OSP, it has suggested.

In a major breather to the players, it recommended that the requirement of a bank guarantee for availing Work-from-Home facility should be done away with. A TRAI official explained that so far companies had to shell out Rs 1 crore in bank guarantees for each employee availing such facility.

“Internet obtained at one OSP centre can be shared with other OSP centres of same company (provided the ISP has geographical jurisdiction),” TRAI release said.

Elaborating on the terms and conditions for CCSPs/HCCSPs, TRAI said that a complete log and record of the logical partitioning including the call detail records should be maintained by them. “These records should be maintained at least for a period of one year. The CCSP/HCCSP should provide these records to DoT or security agencies designated by DoT, as and when required. Further, physical access to their data centre(s) should also be provided to DoT/ Security agencies as and when required,” it said.

For any violation of the stipulated conditions in this category, a penalty of Rs 50 lakh per violation should be imposed on the erring player, it said.

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