FAQs -Other Service Provider
Q1. What is Other Service Provider?
The New Telecom Policy (“NTP”), 1999 introduced the category of “Other Service Provider” (“OSP”) as one of the telecom services. The services provided by OSP include telebanking, tele-trading, telemedicine, e-commerce, network operation centre, call centre, and other IT enabled services through telecom resources provided by the authorised telecom service providers.
Q2. What is the definition of OSP as per the guideline?
As per chapter one, sub clause 4 of the Current Guidelines, OSP is defined as provided below:
Sub clause 4. Other Service Provider' (OSP) is an Indian company, registered under the Indian Companies Act, 2013 or an LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) registered under LP Act, 2008 or a partnership firm or an organization registered under Shops and Establishment Act providing voice-based Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services to their customers located worldwide including in India.
Sub clause 5. Voice based BPO services means call centre services provided by the OPs wherein the customers access the network of the OP through PSTN/PLMN/ISON
Q3. Whether OSP registration is mandatory?
With the coming of NTP, the Department of Telecommunication (“DoT”) initiated the registration of OSP to promote Business Process Outsourcing (“BPO”). DoT has been revising the guidelines from time to time since 2005. DoT issued “New Guidelines for Other Service Provider” in 2020 (“New Guideline”). This New Guideline removed the mandate for compulsory registration of OSP. Subsequently, the New Guideline was revised in 2021 which further simplified compliance in addition to the relaxation provided in the New Guideline (“Current Guideline”). As per Chapter 2 clause 1 of the Current Guidelines, OSP centres in India are no longer required to get registration.
Q3. What are the highlights under the New Guideline?
As per the New Guideline, the regulations have been liberalised for OSPs by incorporating the following:
- No registration certificate required for OSP centres.
- Special dispensations for OSPs clearly defined.
- Allowed Work from Anywhere (WFA) within India.
- No Bank Guarantee required
- Interconnectivity between OSP centres of different OSP companies allowed.
- Electronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange (EPABX) at foreign location allowed in case of international OSP.
- Internet at centralized location -- to be used by other OSP centres.
- Periodic compliances removed.
Q4. What are the highlights under the Current Guideline?
The Current Guidelines further simplify the New Guideline by inserting the following:
- Distinction between Domestic and International OSPs removed.
- EPABX can be located anywhere in the world.
- OSPs can locate their EPABX at third Party Data Centres in India and can also use EPABX services of Telecom Service Providers.
- Interconnectivity between all types of OSP centres is permitted.
- Remote Agents can connect directly with Centralised EPABX/ EPABX of the OSP/ EPABX of the customer using any technology including Broadband over wireline/ wireless.
- No restriction for data interconnectivity between any OSP centres of same company or group company or any unrelated company.