Open house on virtual mobile networks held

June 17th, 2008 - 7:54 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Mobile network operators support the government’s decision to introduce sub-operators, they said at an open house discussion organised by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) here Monday.
Sub-operators or Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), will offer mobile services but will not own any radio frequency, unlike the mobile network operator (MNO) - companies such as Airtel that have been allotted radio frequencies by the department of telecommunications (DoT).

MVNOs will provide voice and data services to end-users through a subscription agreement with the MNOs.

Issues discussed in the open house included the need for introduction of MVNOs, a regulatory model for MVNOs, elegibility criteria for them, and the framework for commercial sharing of spectrum by the MVNOs and MNOs.

Stakeholders’ suggestions will be reflected in TRAI’s final recommendations to the DoT.

The open house discussed issues raised in a consultation paper brought out last month. “I feel that there is a need for the introduction of MVNOs as it can offer consumers a wider choice and help in utilising the existing extra bandwidth lying with operators,” TRAI chairman Nripendra Misra told IANS.

“MVNOs can really help the consumers,” said Madhav J. Joshi, corporate head of the legal and regulatory division of Tata Teleservices. “It will also help those operators who have entered late and have lower tele-density.”

Virgin Mobile recently rolled out its services on the Tata platform following the franchisee model, which differs from MVNO in terms of “ownership” of customers.

There are over 300 MNVOs registered worldwide.

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