Service providers of telecom services in India require an operator license to operate as a telecom operator. Each service provider needs to follow their respective industry norms and obtain the required license from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India. These licenses are issued by the Department of Telecommunications ( DoT ) under the Ministry. The DoT is the apex body for all telecom-related matters in India, and its scope extends from spectrum management and allocation to policy making, regulation and monitoring. The Telecom Operator License enables any eligible person or entity to provide telecommunication services anywhere in India under one or more licenses issued by the DoT. In this article, we will explore various details about the Other Service Provider (OSP) license in India, along with its types, documents, compliance procedures and validity.
What is an OSP License in India?
An OSP license is an Indian Telecommunication License given to an entity that intends to provide other telecom services in India. Telecom service is broadly defined as any service that is offered by a telecom operator using a network of any kind. An OSP can provide services using a network that it owns, or it can lease a network from another telecom operator. An OSP is a telecom service provider that does not offer voice or SMS services. An OSP typically buys capacity from a telecom operator and resells it to its own customers. OSP can also offer data services such as internet and data analytics. OSP does not have a license to offer voice services, so they cannot rent out a network that includes the capability to provide a voice to other businesses.
Types of Telecom Operator License in India
There are four types of telecom operator licenses in India: Basic Service License (BSL), Cellular Mobile Telephone Service License (CMTSL), Unified Access Service License (UASL), and Internet Service Provider License (ISPL). Each license has different eligibility requirements and allows the holder to provide different telecommunications services.
- Basic Service Licenses are granted to companies that meet the criteria for providing fixed line telephone services, including local and long-distance calling, voicemail, and caller ID
- Cellular Mobile Telephone Service Licenses are granted to companies that meet the criteria for providing mobile phone services, including voice calls, text messaging, and data services
- Unified Access Service Licenses are granted to companies that meet the criteria for providing both fixed line and mobile phone services
- Lastly, Internet Service Provider Licenses are granted to companies that meet the criteria for providing internet access, including broadband internet and Dial-up internet.
Each type of license has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the right license based on the telecommunications services that you wish to provide. Some of the types of licenses are – Cellular Operator’s License (CO), Microwave Access License (MA), Wi-Fi Service Provider (WSP), International Gateway License (IG), etc.
Documents Required for Telecom Service License
The documents required for a telecom operator license in India will vary from case to case. They also depend on the category and type of license applied for. But there are certain documents that are necessary for all types of licenses –
- A valid company registration certificate (RC)
- A valid license to operate as a telecom operator in any other country
- A certificate of incorporation
- A memorandum of association
- A letter of intent/application letter
- An audited financial statement of the company
- A list of directors and their background information
- A letter of support from the promoter/shareholder
- A letter of support from the bank, confirming sufficient funds to meet the investment requirement
- A letter of consent from the existing operator(s) who provide service in the same area where the license is applied for, if applicable, A no-objection certificate from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
- A letter of intent from the investors
The Process to Get Telecom Operator License in India
The process of getting a telecom license in India is a long and tedious process. It might take anywhere between 1–2 years to get the license from the date of submission of the application.
The procedural details are given below:-
- The prospective OSP has to submit an application to the DoT along with the required documents
- The application is scrutinised and evaluated by the DoT for eligibility. Notice for hearing is issued to the applicant at the end of the scrutiny
- The applicant has to appear before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)
- If the TDSAT grants permission, the applicant has to give a security deposit
- The application is published in the Official Gazette of India
- The application is then referred to the TRA (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) for comments/suggestions
- If there is no objection from TRA, the DoT grants a license.
Validity and Compliance of OSP License
In India, a service provider is any business entity that provides a service. This includes companies that provide IT services, Consulting services, and so on. A valid and current OSP other service provider license is required for these companies to operate legally in India.
- The OSP license is granted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and it is valid for a period of five years
- To renew the license, the service provider must submit a new application along with the required documentation
- The OSP license is granted based on the company’s compliance with certain guidelines, including financial stability, technical competence, and so on.
The OSP license is a crucial requirement for companies operating in India, and it ensures that these companies are providing quality services to their clients. In order to maintain a valid license, an OSP must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of the license.
A telecom operator license in India is mandatory for all service providers who intend to provide telecom services in the country. The procedure of obtaining a telecom license in India is a very time-consuming process. Therefore, it is important for any aspiring telecom operator to be well prepared before applying for a license.