After almost a year after DoT’s green signal for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), India might just get its first MVNO operator soon. Aerovoyce, a Chennai-based company has received approval for MVNO operations from DoT under its parent unit called ADPAY MOBILE PAYMENT PVT. LTD. Sivakumar Kuppusamy, Founder & CEO of Aerovoyce told MediaNama that the company plans to launch commercial operations by 14th April 2017.
The company claims to have invested more than Rs 300 crore and will additionally provide ADPAY mobile wallet services with its voice and data connections. Currently, ADPAY provides operator billing, mobile WAP/VAS, mobile ad networks and payment services to telecom companies.
What Aerovoyce plans to offer
Expanding on the company’s launch plans, Kuppuswamy added that the MVNO will start with Tamil Nadu telecom circle and expand to other circles later. It will primarily offer three kinds of products with a focus on expanding to rural towns and remote areas:
-Voice and Data SIM cards for B2C customers or general category of customers
-Data only SIM cards for IoT devices, and data cards
-Broadband Internet services (via partnership with ISPs)
-Fiber-based Internet services (via partnership with fiber ISPs)
-Enterprise/Corporate voice, data and Internet services
The company, however, did not mention the names of telecom operators and Internet Service Providers that it’s partnering with but confirmed that it’s in talks with multiple operators. It will reveal pricing details once it launches in April. Apart from voice and data services, Aerovoyce will offer commercial VSAT infrastructure for providing Internet in closed buildings and other Value Added Services like movies, sports updates, music, etc.
MVNOs explained and what they can offer
MVNOs are telecom service providers who provide services to users by leasing out spectrum from a larger telco, which they get at wholesale rates. They also work as a reseller for telcos, billing directly to its customers without operating technical facilities or tech support, relying on infrastructure providers for both. Any company in India can acquire an MVNO license under the Unified License agreement, with an entry fee of Rs 7.5 crore for offering ‘all services’ including data, and voice. MVNOs looking to offer their services on a pan-India basis will have to shell out Rs 15 lakh as entry fee, and up to Rs 1.25 crore for both nation and international long distance telecom license. Companies will also have to deposit a bank guarantee of Rs 1 lakh.
While laying guidelines for MVNOs in March, the DoT said that an MVNO can tie up with multiple telecom operators, but only one operator per access service type i.e. (i) data, (ii) National Long Distance (NLD) Voice (iii) International Long Distance (ILD) voice, etc. However, during a DoT event last month, an official mentioned that MVNOs are now allowed to take data services from multiple operators instead of just one operator. A lowdown of the 8-point guideline can be read here. In October last year, DoT received applications from 60 companies who were looking to launch MVNO services. A list here