Context: Recently the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) pitched for regulating all OTT players, including communication over the top (OTT) players such as WhatsApp, and those such as Netflix that consumed huge bandwidth.
- COAI was constituted in 1995 as a registered, non-governmental society. The Association is dedicated to the advancement of modern communication through the establishment of world-class mobile infrastructure, products and services and to delivering the benefits of innovative and affordable mobile communication services to the people of India.
- Over the years COAI has emerged as the official voice for the Indian telecom industry and interacts directly with Ministries, Policy Makers, Regulators, Financial Institutions and Technical Bodies.
- It provides a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas between these bodies and the Service Providers, who share a common interest in the development of mobile telephony in the country. COAI collaborates with other Industry Associations such as CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, AUSPI, ISPAI, VSAT association etc.
- COAI’s core membership includes private Telecom Service Providers, namely – Bharti Airtel Limited., Vodafone Idea Limited and Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, operating across the whole country.
- Having started as an Association for mobile service providers, COAI has today expanded to be a thought leader in the Digital Communications industry, with members including Telecom service providers, telecom infrastructure players, telecom network equipment & device manufacturers, chipsets manufacturers, Social Media companies, Content Providers, E-commerce players; and still expanding to include other allied and critical stakeholders of the sector.
- COAI’s present Associate Members include –Amazon Seller Services Pvt.Ltd, Apple India, Atria Convergence Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Ciena Communications India Pvt. Ltd., Cisco Systems India Pvt. Ltd., Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd., ECI Telecom India Pvt. Ltd., Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd., Google India Pvt. Ltd., Huawei Telecommunications (India) Co. Pvt. Ltd, Indus Towers Ltd, Juniper Networks Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., Nokia Networks, Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd., Sterlite Technologies Limited and ZTE Telecom India Pvt. Ltd.
- Further, COAI has dedicated itself towards the training of skilled manpower to ensure efficient and optimum utilization of human resources to the industry. COAI has played a major role in the setting up and operations of the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) in India under the aegis of the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC).
- TSSC is registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860, with members from COAI, ICA, TCOE, NSDC, TAIPA, AUSPI, Govt., Telecom Industry and Academia.
- COAI also played a major role in setting up the Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE) set up in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, with the Government, the Academia and the Industry working together for the sustained growth and progress of the country.
- The key objective of TCOEs are to create synergy amongst the academia, telecom industry and the government for creation of new services/applications, generation of IPR, development of manufacturing capability, global telecom standardization activities, and promotion of entrepreneurship.
- COAI was instrumental in the formation of the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), which aims at developing and promoting India-specific requirements, standardizing solutions for meeting these requirements and contributing these to international standards.
- The TSDSI contributes to global standardization in the field of telecommunications by maintaining the technical standards and other deliverables of the organization, safe-guarding the related IPR, helping create manufacturing expertise in the country, and providing leadership to the developing countries in terms of their telecommunications-related standardization needs.
- COAI also interacts with various international organizations such as ITU, GSMA, UMTS, TIA, ITIC, GSA, MMF, Digital Europe, WWRF and 3GPP; Country Embassies as well as the Press & Media to ensure that the issues pertaining to the mobile phone industry are discussed, understood and debated on a wider platform.
Source: The Hindu