Foreign telcos push to open Indian long distance market

A new group representing foreign telcos is to push for deregulation of India's international long distance (ILD) licensing.

The Association of Competitive Telecom Operators (ACTO) will represent service providers focused on the enterprise market. Founding members include BT, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Orange Business Services and Verizon Business.
They say ACTO hopes to foster a healthier business environment for operators competing in India's long-distance enterprise market.

Satyen Gupta, ACTO president and regulatory head of BT India, said ACTO's biggest priority was to change the conditions of India's International Long Distance (ILD) license.

"[The license] is predominately tailored for switched voice services and does not take cognizance of emerging technologies," he said.

ACTO believes the license must be updated to remove hindrances for enterprise data services, such as a double taxation on data services.

The association was also seeking a wholesale pricing regime for international connectivity, Gupta said.