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TRAI issues consultation paper on 'Next Generation Network' licensing issues news
27 January 2009

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on 'Licensing Issues Related to Next Generation Networks''.

TRAI has among other issues, sought views from stakeholders on licensing framework, competition issues, provision of third party service and applications, service level agreements, interconnect agreement, interface approval, etc.

Telecom companies are bundling a wide selection of high-quality communications, information and entertainment services to keep customers as technology advances rapidly.

Consumers are demanding high quality services at affordable cost and the bundling of services is demanding many fold increase in bandwidth requirement, TRAI pointed out in its release.

''The development of converged platform, commonly known as Next Generation Networks (NGN), has made it possible to provide various services on IP backbone. NGN is essentially a managed IP-based (i.e., packet-switched) network that supports a variety of high speed data intensive services, including, IPTV, HDTV, videoconferencing, VoIP, Instant Messaging, e-mail, and other packet-switched communication services. The increasing acceptability of common IP backbone, reducing ARPU, intense competition and need to provide new value added services and applications encouraging migration to NGN platforms world-over,'' it pointed out.

While migration may be restricted due to existing regulatory frameworks, different options are available to regulators to support investment, encourage and support migration, encourage migration, or wait and watch, the release said, adding, higher rewards are associated with high risk.

In this connection, TRAI had made certain recommendations to the government in March 2006. Consequent to these recommendations, an expert committee on Next Generation Networks (NGN-eCO) was constituted under the aegis of TRAI having representations from licensor, regulator, DoT, TEC, service providers, vendors and academic institutions.

The committee submitted its final report to the on 24 August 2007. The expert committee emphasised the need to deliberate these specific issues separately in order to give more focus and thrust, which will facilitate smooth migration process to NGN.

In view of the above and to encourage investments in NGN the Authority is of the view that a suitable regulatory framework has to be established. A consultation paper on the licensing issues has been prepared for initiating consultation process.

Some of the issues discussed in the consultation paper are :

  • Licensing framework
  • Competition issues
  • Provision of third party service and applications
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA)
  • Mandatory interconnect exchange
  • Placement of active elements in the network
  • Compatible interface by NGN networks for interconnections with TDM networks
  • Interface approval in NGN
  • Emergency number dialing
  • Re-authentication of identification of called party

TRAI has asked stakeholders to send their comments on the above issues by 27 February 2009.

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TRAI issues consultation paper on 'Next Generation Network' licensing issues