May 21, 2022

Trai proposes the creation of a separate authorization for the access network provider

Trai suggested on Thursday that a separate authorization be created for the access network provider to offer network services on a wholesale basis, as the industry regulator explained its views on unbundling different layers through differential licensing. J

The recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) aim to create a separate license authorization for the access network provider and provide a general framework for Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) seeking and entering into a pact with the network providers.

Implementation of these recommendations should lead to increased sharing of network resources, reduced costs, investments and enhanced service delivery, and could also prove a catalyst in the proliferation of 5G services, said Trai in a statement.

“A separate unified licensed authorization should be created for the access network provider (network layer) to provide wholesale network services,” Trai said.

Under this new authorization, the access network provider would not be authorized to provide services directly to end customers.

The scope of the access network provider would be to establish and maintain a telecommunications network, including wireless and wireline infrastructure, and to sell the network services (capable of transporting voice messages and data and non-voice) on a wholesale basis to VNOs (service delivery operators). ) for retail purposes.

“The access network provider should also be allowed to provide/share its network resources to/with telecommunications service providers who are licensees…and vice versa,” Trai said.

Like the “unified licensee” with access authorization, the new category – access network provider – should also be authorized to acquire spectrum through auctions, subject to prescribed ceilings, to enter into agreements exchange and spectrum sharing with other players.

It should also have access to backhaul spectrum, numbering resources and the right to interconnect, Trai said.

The existing “unified license” licensing regime should be maintained, Trai said, adding that if a licensee with an access service license wishes to migrate to a separate network layer and service layer regime, it should be allowed to do so.

The network provider should be allowed to

a separate license within the VNO framework for the provision of services to end subscribers.

The license fee and spectrum usage fees applicable to the authorization of the access network provider must be identical to those of the unified licensed access service.

He stated that the combined reach of the access network provider and the UL-VNO (access service) is equal to the reach of a licensee with an access service authorization. “The minimum capital, minimum net worth, entry fee and FBG/PBG (financial and performance banking guarantee) requirements for the proposed access network provider authorization can be obtained by deducting the prescribed amounts for UL (VNO access service) of the prescribed amount for UL access service authorization,” he said.

Further, he stated that to bring transparency and accountability to the whole process of VNO finding and reaching an agreement with the network provider or unified licensee, a general framework should be prescribed, including application filing process, processing, and defined timelines.

“In order to ensure that the terms and conditions offered to different VNOs are fair, transparent and non-discriminatory, the Unified Licensee must declare its referral offer (including advertisements) on its website.

“The Unified Licensee shall offer the wholesale services to different VNOs, including those owned by VNOs/promoted by itself, in a transparent, fair and non-discriminatory manner,” Trai said.

In simple terms, VNOs are entities licensed to provide telecommunications services such as mobile, landline and internet, but only as retailers for full-fledged telecommunications operators such as BSNL,

and others.