The government has issued guidelines for grant of Virtual Network Operators (VNO) license to be finalized in 60 days.
As per Department of Telecommunications (DoT) guidelines there would not be any restriction on the number of virtual network operators license per service area and the license shall be issued on a non-exclusive basis for a period of 10 years.
The applicant can apply for Virtual Network Operators license for any services like: unified license VNO (all service); access service (service area-wise); ISP – Cat A; ISP – Cat B; ISP – Cat C; NLD service; ILD service; GMPCS servce; PMRTS service; VSAT CUG; INSAT MSS-R; and resale of IPLC service.
The broad guidelines for Virtual Network Operators are: applicant must be an Indian company; one company can have only one VNO license but they can apply for more than one service subject to the fulfillment of all conditions; foreign direct investment holding in the company should be as per FDI policy announced by the government of India; VNOs that enter the network would do so based on arriving at a mutual agreement between an NSO and VNO; VNOs shall be allowed to create their own service delivery platforms irrespective of customer service, billing and VAS; and no spectrum shall be assigned to the VNOs.
Virtual Network Operators will be charged one time non-refundable entry fee for authorisation of each service and service area. The total amount of entry fee will be subject to a maximum of Rs 7.5 crore. In addition to entry fee an annual license fees and spectrum usage charge of 8 percent will be charged as per AGR.
As per the guideline, no one VNO and another NSO (network service operator) and a VNO and another VNO in the same service area directly or indirectly shall have not any beneficial interest in each other.