VNO Forum Holds First Round Table in New Delhi with 150 Delegates

by September 21, 2016 0 comments

VNO Forum, in association with Voice&Data, recently held the first round-table in the country’s capital. Telecom secretary, JS Deepak, Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman & Managing Director – Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Sanjeev Banzal, Advisor, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Umang Das, vice chairman, TAIPA (Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association),   honored the occasion as distinguished guests. XIUS and Ericcson sponsored the conference which was aimed to get all the Virtual Network Operator (VNO) eco-system stakeholders including aspiring VNOs who have applied for the license, VNO tech solution providers, telecom operators and policymakers on a single platform to share their views about India’s nascent VNO market before the final license conditions are announced. Senior officials from MTNL, Tata Teleservices, MTS, Datawind, Reliance Communications, DoT, Videocon, Aircel, AT&T, China Telecom, TCIL, etc participated in the conference.

VNO Forum has been created to be a think tank for all those interested in the VNO business; public and private sector operators, government, regulators, consumers, solution providers, researchers, and developers. “The idea is to promote and project the general understanding and to assist in the development of the VNO services. The forum will be conducting conferences, seminars, research to share and disseminate knowledge about the VNO business. And will participate actively in the policy and regulatory development process”, said Amitabh Singhal, president, VNO Forum.

The spotlight of the event was on identifying new opportunities for VNOs in India’s growing telecom markets, regulatory ecosystem and policies for VNOs success, and the need for co-opetition between operators, VNE and VNO relationship. With case studies of global VNOs and MNOs, expertise from renowned thought-leaders, and panel discussions focused on regulation and innovation, the event brought to light a wealth of knowledge and insight across the entire VNO ecosystem. From a regulation perspective, the topics of discussion included SUC (Spectrum Usage Charges) and single parenting for the VNO wherein VNOs are currently allowed to sign-up agreements and only utilize a spectrum of one telecom service provider. The possibility of multi-parenting or signing up with multiple MNOs was discussed with TRAI.

Delivering his inaugural address, JS Deepak said, “Virtual Network Operators (VNOs), or telecom service resellers, are better placed to enable telecom service providers utilize network capacity and share active as well as passive infrastructure in the new $4 billion market opportunity”. He added that the VNO policy will help in maximizing operators’ efficiency by sharing of spectrum and better capacity utilization. BSNL has become the first operator to take up VNO business in a big way. BSNL CMD, Anupam Shrivastava tweeted after the event about how pleased he was in exchanging ideas with colleagues from the telecom industry. 

Sources from the Department of Telecommunications said that over 70 companies have expressed interest in procuring VNO license at the district-level as they plan to offer localized services, while 10 players have applied for a national-level license.  “The possible niche segments for VNOs to target in India are $120 million taxi hauling services, 200 million agriculture pump sets, 248 million electricity meters, 16 million monthly air travelers, smart cities projects installed by the Government of India and the huge opportunity that daily entertainment and m-health have in store for the VNO segment” said Sridhar Lanka, CTO of XIUS while speaking at the conference.

Leading suppliers of telecom technology to MNOs, MVNOs and enterprises worldwide, XIUS and Ericsson, were the sponsors of the conference. Speaking at the conference Anupam Srivastava, CMD, BSNL said “I see VNO Forum round-table as a resounding success that indicates a very favorable industry reception with a lot of encouragement for the onset of VNOs in India. India’s telecom market remains one of the most dynamic while also being diverse and fragmented”. The objective of the roundtable was distinct – to ensure that VNO businesses are aware of and well-prepared to meet the demands and challenges head-on and to be certain about not missing out on the emerging opportunities. The VNO Forum is planning a big conference cum exhibition in the month of November.


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