The telecom regulator has extended the deadline for stakeholder comments and counter-comments on its discussion paper seeking to upgrade the regulatory structure around registration of other service providers (OSPs), offering services such as tele-banking, tele-medicine, tele-education, e-commerce, call centre, and other IT-enabled services.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in a statement Friday, said it has sought comments by May 20 instead of April 29, and counter-comments by June 3 instead of May 13, following requests from stakeholders.
In a consultation paper, floated on March 29, Trai had sought industry views on aspects such as validity of such registration to the charges, connectivity, interconnectivity aspects and even security conditions.
Trai had also invited stakeholder views on whether the definition of application service in context of OSPs needs to be changed and whether the application services which are purely based on data/ internet should be covered under application service for the purpose of defining OSP.
The Trai paper had said that as per current definition, an OSP is a company providing application services such as telebanking, telemedicine, tele-education, tele-trading, ecommerce, call centre, network operation centre and other IT enabled services by using telecom resources or infrastructure provided by licensed telecom operators.
Trai had also sought to know if any other regulatory framework – rather than the current registration process for a fee - be adopted for OSPs so that the purpose of registration specified by government is met.
The consultation paper had come in the backdrop of the telecom department’s (DoT) reference last September seeking a recommendation from the regulator on the matter. In a letter to the regulator last year, DoT had underlined that the time had come to devise a technology-neutral framework so as to promote innovations for setting up the OSP service delivery platform in a most cost-efficient manner, for faster promotion of these service providers.
Trai is also in the midst of a separate consultation paper on whether to regulate apps that provide communication services, such as WhatsApp and Skype.