Government accepts Introduction of MVNOs

The Government has accepted the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) Licensees in India. TRAI had made the recommendations on 6th August, 2008. The detailed guidelines for MVNO shall be issued by Department of Telecom (DoT) after it receives response from TRAI on some issues.

Brief description of MVNO
A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a company that provides mobile phone service but does not have its own licensed frequency allocation of radio spectrum, nor does it necessarily have all of the infrastructure required to provide mobile telephone service. A company that does have frequency allocation(s) and all the required infrastructure to run an independent mobile network is known simply as a Mobile Network Operator (MNO). MVNOs are roughly equivalent to the “switchless resellers”. Switchless resellers buy minutes wholesale from the large long distance companies and retail them to their customers.

An MNO that does not have a frequency spectrum allocation in a particular geographical region may operate as an MVNO in that region. MVNOs can operate using any of the mobile technologies MNOs use, such as Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), GSM and the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS).