ACTO says existing M&A guidelines don’t consider the impact on VNO business

ACTO says existing M&A guidelines don’t consider the impact on VNO business

Association of Competitive Telecom Operators (ACTO) says that the existing guidelines didn’t consider the impact on VNO business and there was a need to relook as the guidelines were made when VNO was not introduced in India.

Association of Competitive Telecom Operators (ACTO) in its response to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Consultation Paper on “Reforming the Guidelines for Transfer/Merger of Telecom Licenses” said that the existing guidelines didn’t consider the impact on VNO business and there was a need to relook as the guidelines were made when VNO was not introduced in India.

ACTO’s response which was accessed by OnlyTech, further stated that the number of access providers has been reduced from 12 to 4 now and in order to ensure completion in the market, there is an urgent need for the VNO to grow.

The association said that there was a need to keep the Transfer/Merger of Licenses guidelines simple and the time-bound clearances process should be ensured keeping in mind ease of doing business in India.

On provisioning of mandatory access to MVNOs, ACTO said there was a need to have clauses in the telecom license to protect the business of VNOs so that the Transfer and Merger policy don’t impact the existing VNOs business and continuity is maintained.

Referring to the global practice of the regulators that mandate the Worldwide TSPs to ensure non-discriminatory access to VNOs by regulators, ACTO said that given the current dynamics of the Indian telecom market and the general financial health of the telecom sector, due support to VNOs needs to be ensured.

It pointed out that presently VNO license does not allow multi parenting for access service. Calling the artificial restriction as a roadblock to providing high-quality services, the association said that the VNOs must be allowed to multi-parenting with multiple NSOs for access services also.

It further said that the restrictions are arbitrary and discourage a VNO to expand its business based on customer choice and network availability. The clause ties down the VNO to only a single access provider which hampers the quality of service.

In its closing comments, ACTO said that it had no comments to offer on the changes required in the provision of UL and any other issues relevant to the subject.

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