Technology

Trai plans to bring VAS under licensing regime

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is planning to bring value added services (VAS) under the licensing regime and is preparing a consultation paper to regulate the sector.


"We will bring out a consultation paper on VAS in the next few days. We will see how to bring VAS into the active mainstream," Trai Chairman J S Sarma said on the sidelines of the IAMAI India Digital Media Summit event.


The areas under coverage could be the revenue-share arrangement between telcos and application providers, a grey area contested by both the parties. Sarma, however, did not mention on the areas the regulator would look into..


VAS operators complain that they are not adequately paid by the telecom operators for the wide range of services that they provide including ringer tunes.


IAMAI President Shubho Ray welcomed the move to introduce licensing of VAS players, saying regulation will organise the VAS sector and will bring investment into the sector.


Trai Chairman J S Sarma also said that the regulator would be making recommendations during this week relating to the National Broadband Plan which is now under finalisation by the Communications and Information Technology Ministry.
 
Dr Sarma said a national agency will be set up that will aid the smooth roll-out of the National Broadband Policy to ensure comprehensive development of the ecosystem for growth of digital media in India,.


In a consultation paper earlier, the regulator had expressed concern over the low broadband penetration in India, and said that the broadband tariffs being offered by operators are still high due to lack of competition. Trai had also felt that the cost of international bandwidth is high compared to other markets, which is coming in the way of cheaper broadband services. 
 
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has also made a reference to Trai seeking its recommendations on the need to review the definition of broadband connectivity in view of future growth in Internet/broadband driven by wireless technologies.

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