Extra telecom services don’t need separate licences: Regulator

January 14th, 2009 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Providers of value-added telecom services (VAS) do not require separate licences, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said Wednesday, a point of view that has come as a big relief to many firms.”The authority does not envisage any separate category of licence for value-added services,” TRAI said in a recommendation paper.

VAS includes services that add value to standard voice calls - such as ring tones, caller ring-back tones, video games, imagery, jokes and information services.

Such services constitute about 10 percent of revenue for telecom service providers. According to TRAI estimates, revenue through VAS is expected to cross Rs.250 billion ($5 billion) by 2009-10.

Currently, VAS providers are neither regulated nor licensed.

However, there is a requirement for uniformity in licences and amendment of various access service licence agreements to push the growth of VAS, particularly in second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) mobile services, TRAI said.

The regulator further said it may issue guidelines on best practices to protect the interest of consumers.

TRAI has invited stakeholders to respond to the draft recommendations by Jan 20.

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