Press Release l Licensing framework for Audio Conferencing/ Audiotex/ Voice Mail Service

In a series of policy reforms initiated in telecom sector, Government has issued the “Licensing framework for Audio Conferencing/ Audiotex/ Voice Mail Services under Unified License” and amendments in the terms and conditions of the existing standalone license of “Voice Mail Service (VMS)/ Audiotex (ATS)/ Unified Messaging Services (UMS)”. Presently, standalone license for VMS/Audiotex/ UMS are being issued by DOT as per the existing guidelines dated 16.07.2001.

After examining the TRAI’s Recommendations on “Licensing framework for Audio Conferencing/Audiotex/ Voice Mail Services”, DoT has decided to make this license a part of the Unified License (UL) by adding a new Chapter for this authorisation. However, the migration from existing license to Unified license will be optional for existing licensees holding VMS/ Audiotex/ UMS license. No new standalone license or their renewal will be issued for VMS/ Audiotex/ UMS license against the DOT guidelines issued on 16.07.2001.

The major highlights of the changes as per Revised policy issued are:
  •     The license is being made part of “Unified Licence” by adding a new Chapter for the authorisation titled “Audio-conferencing/ Audiotex/ Voice Mail Service”.
  •     The Audio Conferencing unit can be connected to both PSTN/Mobile and IP network as per TEC standards.
  •     Dial out facility will be allowed even if using resources of more than one access service provider subject to license conditions.
  •     Point-to-point conferencing has been allowed for providing services to Registered Enterprises in India.
  •     The Service Area for the License under UL is being changed from “SDCA” to “National level” i.e. All India level. However, it will remain SDCA for standalone license of VMS/ Audiotex /UMS.
  •     The licence fees of the new licensees and existing licensees will be 8% of AGR, which is at par with other licensees of UL.
This framework will be effective from 01.01.2022.