Within four months of issuing guidelines related to virtual network operator, the government has received over 70 applications seeking permission to provide telecom services. "Over 70 companies have applied for VNO licence. In this, around 10 applications are for pan-India service," Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said. The virtual network operator (VNO) will be an entity providing telecom services like mobile landline and Internet, but only as a retailer for full-fledged telecom operators such as BSNL, MTNL, Airtel and the like.
The entry of VNOs is expected to push down the cost of offering telecom services for the companies and even give them room to slash tariff. As per a DoT official, the list of applicants for pan-India permit includes mobile device maker Datawind, Netraj Technology, Ometa Net Private Ltd, Sistemos Information Technology, Adpay Mobile Payment India, Powerner Communications, Tashee Buildcon, AK Edu Technologies, Intech Infratel and Varoaan Services. When contacted, Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said the VNO service will have far-reaching implications which will create innovation and opportunity.