Arvind Rao, CEO of OnMobile has no issue with regulation of the VAS industry, but only for preventing fly-by-night operators, and limiting regulation to the quality of service issues. “I have a severe problem with licensing,” he said, speaking at the Mobile Monday Mumbai earlier this week.
Over the past few years, the issue of billing reconciliation and auditing has been raised repeatedly – that for content, telecom operators do not give audited downloads, and there are “billing leakages” (i.e. underreporting of downloads), and content owners not being paid in time.
Rao believes that one needs to understand the complexity of the billing system, and cut the operator some slack – “Today OnMobile handles 8 Billion calls a month. For every call, the length of the call, which content, who should be paid the royalty – Hungama, PPL, Saregama…it’s a monumental task. We have a huge software for billing and MIS. On an average, the error is not more than 2-3 percent. But that is only when you’re operating at a very huge scale such as ours. We have to understand the nuances which are typical of the operators.”
His solution: “there could be some regulation wherein the operators have to pay up 90 percent of the bill within 30 days, and the remaining 10 percent can be dealt with later.”