The guidelines for Other Service Providers (OSPs) has been further liberalised by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT). Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, announced that along with the major measures that were already announced and implemented in November 2020, special dispensation has been given to OSPs and entities that are business process outsourcing (BPO) organisations giving Voice based services, in India and abroad.
NASSCOM has appreciated this move of the Government of India, saying: “We welcome the government’s commitment towards Ease of Doing Business, and it’s focus on the IT-BPM sector’s sustainable future. We congratulate the IT Minister, Shri RS Prasad for this landmark decision, acknowledging the industry’s needs in this regard and issuing significant reforms towards further simplifying the OSP guidelines.
NASSCOM had earlier conducted an OSP reform survey which had made the following observations:
- Over 72% of the respondents mentioned that they are highly satisfied with the OSP reforms.
- 95% of the respondent mentioned has helped in reducing the compliance burden and cost of doing business in India.
- 95% of the respondent also stated that this will help in making IT services more competitive globally.
- Another 77% of the respondent mentioned that OSP reforms has helped in increasing the productivity.
- 92% of respondents stating that reforms also helped in reducing the financial burden on the companies.
- 62% of the respondent mentioned that they will consider expanding their operation or will make fresh investments basis the OSP reforms.
- 55% also mentioned that this will help in generating new employment opportunities and will enhance access to talent.
The new guidelines, the Indian Government says, will further help the BPM industry to reduce their establishment cost and creating synergies among different companies. Through these reforms more and more MNCs will get attracted towards India as a favorable destination and hence will lead to more FDIs, said Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“The new guidelines will enable the industry to fully leverage technology to implement work from anywhere in a seamless manner and provide greater flexibility to utilize their infrastructure and design their service delivery model to better serve the global market. The reforms will add to India’s attractiveness in terms of ease of doing business,” added NASSCOM.
Main features of the liberalised guidelines for OSPs
- The distinction between Domestic and International OSPs has been removed. A BPO centre with common Telecom resources will now be able to serve customers located worldwide including in India.
- The electronic private automatic branch exchange (EPABX) of the OSP can be located anywhere in the world. OSPs apart from utilising EPABX services of the Telecom Service Providers can also locate their EPABX at third Party Data Centres in India.
- With the removal of the distinction between Domestic and International OSP centres, the interconnectivity between all types of OSP centres is now permitted.
- Remote Agents of OSP can now connect directly with the Centralised EPABX/ EPABX of the OSP/ EPABX of the customer using any technology including Broadband over wireline/ wireless.
- No restriction for data interconnectivity between any OSP centres of same company or group company or any unrelated company.
- It may be recalled that DoT has already exempted Data-Based Services from the OSP regulations. In addition, the regulations exempted OSPs from the requirement of any registration. Also, no Bank Guarantees were to be furnished. Work from Home and Work from Anywhere was also permitted.
- Penalties for violations were removed altogether.
“The new measures in the guidelines issued today will enable remote agents of the OSP to directly connect to the customer EPABX or any Centralized EPABX without the need to connect with the OSP center thereby avoiding double hop. This will also allow interconnectivity between OSPs with non-OSPs for both voice and data, which has been one of the key recommendations given by NASSCOM earlier. In addition to this — permitting centralized internet connectivity using SDWAN, keeping all non -voice based entities outside of the OSP purview, enabling the use of third-party EPABX and the removal of the distinction between domestic and international OSPs will provide the industry with greater flexibility and ease of compliance,” noted NASSCOM.