Bharti Airtel began offering G Suite services to small and medium-sized businesses in India in partnership with Google, January 20 onwards. Airtel currently claims to serve over 2,500 large businesses and over 500,000 SMBs and technology startups across the country.

Reliance Jio struck a similar deal with Microsoft in August 2019 to offer cloud services to small businesses. As part of the partnership, Jio and Microsoft were to jointly offer Azure, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft AI platforms to more organisations in India, and also bring Azure Cognitive Services to more devices and in 13 Indian languages to the country, TechCrunch had reported. They had also claimed that the services will be offered to businesses for $21 per month.

According to TechCrunch, Amazon currently leads the cloud computing market but does not have any similar deals with telecom operators. We had reported earlier on how Amazon intends to price new Amazon Web Services products competitively so that the volume of sales can counteract the expenditure on hiring a greater number of salespeople and greater spending on marketing.

Regulation of cloud service providers in India

  • In October 2019, The Telecommunications Authority of India (TRAI) had invited comments on a consultation paper that aimed to provide a framework for registration of an industry body for cloud service providers (CSP). The paper covered issues such as eligibility criteria for registration, obligations, membership policy and other policy issues related to the governance structure of cloud service provider’s industry body. This consultation paper is a response to a Department of Telecommunication’s (DoT) request from TRAI. In September 2018, the DoT had sought additional recommendation from TRAI on terms and conditions of the industry body, eligibility, entry fee, the period of registration and governance structure.
  • In August 2017, TRAI had issued recommendations on ‘Cloud services’ which were adopted by the government in September 2018. These recommendations covered subjects such as legal and regulatory framework for cloud services, a comprehensive legal framework for data protection, interoperability, and portability, a legal framework for CSPs operating in multiple jurisdictions, cost-benefit analysis, etc.