TRAI gives green light to corporate changes

16 Jun 2008

Telecoms regulator TRAI has given approval to Bharti and Vodafone’s recent outsourcing deals, Reliance Communication’s dual-company structure and Tata Teleservices’ contract with Virgin Mobile. After examining each of the moves, the regulator told Indian press: ‘All the companies explained their position to us and gave us the requisite information we needed. As a regulator, we were also able to understand how these agreements worked. After hearing out the companies and examining the information they submitted, we have found that they are not in any violation and government’s revenues are not impacted.’

Earlier this year a number of GSM operators strongly opposed a joint venture between Tata Teleservices and UK-based Virgin on the grounds that the deal amounted to Virgin operating as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in violation of Indian regulations which do not permit such services. Tata always maintained however that Virgin Mobile was only a franchisee of Tata Teleservices and since the venture did not involve selling of bulk airtime, it could not be classified as an MVNO.