By Balbir Bora, Founder, Whitewater Solutions
A company must adhere to the DoT licensing conditions while extending infrastructure to India and must be aware of how the regulatory environment differs in India. Most of the western countries have open internet telephony unlike India where it is open with heavy restrictions.Unified communication is limited to the internal network (CUG) only and it is not unified in real sense where internet and TDM calls can be uniformly managed.
OSP is a also separate category of service providers who have been given special dispensation by DoT (like switching all kind of calls within their enterprise (own/ private) network), however these dispensations are selective for voice based domestic and International BPO services.
While a company (OSP or non-OSP) is extending global infrastructure in India, rules and regulations specific to enterprise telephony, OSP guidelines, etc, should be kept in mind.
A company can use a traditional on-premise phone system to fulfill their corporate telephony needs or may have switched to OTT (Over the top)/ Cloud applications. There is no specific policy or guideline for enterprise telephony are present with the Department of Telecom (DoT). There are various restrictions around usage of internet telephony, toll bypass, and intermixing of public and private traffic, however, there is no check levied by the government on the companies to abide to these regulations.The TSP (Telecom Service Provider) can make periodic audits of the telecom resources to check if their circuits are being used in a compliant and legitimate manner. The companies can implement India specific LBR (Location Based Routing) restrictions and logical partitioning configurations on the call manager to avoid accidental bypass of the toll rules and intermix of PSTN and IP traffic.
Additionally, there is no specific requirement for CDR (Call Data Records) storage and no surveillance framework from government has been mandated. With that said, it remains a matter of choice for a company to incorporate these compliance checks in their internal policy and ensure compliance to DoT restrictions in India.
For OSPs (Other Service Providers), there are security conditions levied by the government that emphasize on local storage of CDR (Call Data Records), system logs, and system configurations in a tamper proof format. It should be possible for the OSP company to provide access of this data to DoT, as and when required. It should be possible to facilitate DoT with complete traceability and transparency of the voice traffic to ensure that no violations are being committed.
For call centers and KPOs, these new Other Service Provider (OSP) guidelines have simplified the entire process of conducting business. Firstly, the registration requirement for OSPs has been done away with altogether and the BPO industry engaged in data related work have been taken out of the ambit of OSP regulations. In addition, requirements such as deposit of bank guarantees, requirement for static IPs for Work from Home, frequent reporting obligations, publication of network diagram, penal provisions etc. have also been removed. However, compliance to OSP security conditions and data privacy laws should be ensured.
Hence, new players entering India must be aware and understand how the licensing conditions differ in India and design the network accordingly. They can also reach out to local partners or advisors that can guide them with recommendations on market conditions and licensing framework.
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