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India tweaks telecoms laws to make itself an even more attractive offshoring destination

Allows cloud PABXs, VPNs, and data sharing, so that locals can participate in multinational workflows

India’s department of telecommunications has tweaked some rules in the hope they make the nation a more attractive offshoring destination. The revised rules make it possible for call centres and similar businesses to use resources in the cloud, and more easily operate as part of global customer service organisations.

The core of the changes is permitting what India calls “other service providers” (OSPs) — a term that describes any business conducted remotely by voice — to use networked resources, while removing plenty of red tape.

Previous arrangements meant such companies found it hard to work as part of a global operation, as they were forced to use telecoms infrastructure within India, to provide detailed technical schemas explaining how they routed calls as part of an onerous registration process, and could not share data with offshore entities.

OSPs with Indian operations were also prohibited from linking their voice and data networks to each other.

OSPs were also required to lodge a deposit with India’s government as they commenced operations.

The new regime allows OSPs to avail themselves of cloud-hosted services, meaning that a multinational company can now include an Indian presence in its operations without having to segregate data or networks. Should a company choose to engage two Indian OSPs to serve a common clientele, that’s also now possible.

Cloudy PABXs located anywhere on the planet are also permissible. So is collaboration among OSPs, or between OSPs and other service providers.

Aside from making it easier for OSPs to collaborate with similar organisations offshore and at home, the changes allow Indian OSP staffers to work from anywhere, and to access data and make calls over the public internet in the course of their work.

India’s IT services lobby NASSCOM has hailed [PDF] the changes as a significant reform that “will add to India’s attractiveness in terms of ease of doing business.

“Access to hybrid working will give our industry an epic boost and significantly expand access to talent, increase job creation and catapult Indian IT BPM to the next level of growth and innovation in the country.”

India’s Minister for Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, predicted the changes could see revenue won by India’s business process outsourcing sector grow by more than a third by the year 2025. ®

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