VNO License or ISP License: Which one should you choose

VNO License or ISP License.It’s the choice between the two most powerful certifications that confuse most Internet Service Providers. Should you go with a small but powerful VNO License? Or, you should go with the expensive, but complete ISP license? This blog is going to given you the answer to this very question

Ever since India got a taste of internet, it can never get enough of it. From PUBG to constantly looking at tweets, from fake news spreading or political discussion. From educational courses to constant entertainment, internet is fuelling our lives in more ways than one. Seeing the potential of this sector, many enterpreneurs are coming forward with new internet service centres. However, even then, there is a disparity. These new bloods confused between two licenses: namely VNO license and ISP license

VNO License

Should I choose to pay UL VNO entry fees or should I choose a complete ISP package?

Should I apply for VNO license online or should I go with a bigger and better ISP license online?

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Should I pay the low UL VNO ISP fees and start small or should I directly aspire to go bigger with the ISP?

These are the questions that plague the minds of impatient and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. And we are here to answer

Let’s talk about the duration of the license

Let us start with the most basic difference between the two licenses: the duration for which the license is valid.

Validity of the UL VNO License

When you opt for VNO License online, apply with the full knowledge that the license will only be valid for 10 years.

Validity of the UL ISP License

A unified license for ISP is valid for 20 years. Applying for it is therefore done by those who wish to remain in the same business for a long time

Which one to choose based on duration of the validity?

If you’re a startup Virtual Network Operator – a VNO – you should opt for the UL VNO License. However, in case your aspirations are backed up by your deep pockets, meaning that you can afford to start an ISP, you should opt for that.

Reviewing of License terms

Following is the difference between the two ISP certifications based on the potential of changes in their policies

Changes in the UL VNO License policy

The terms and conditions on which you’re issued a UL VNO license can be reviewed by the department every four years. For instance, if the department reviews your license after 4 years and decides that you can only operate for one more year, the validity of your license becomes 5 years.

Changes in UL ISP License policy

There can be no change in the terms and conditions on which you’re issued the UL ISP license. The Department of Telecommunication doesn’t review the terms and conditions for an ISP license once it’s issued to you.

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Which one to choose based on the change in policies?

It’s a no brainer. If you are an established internet service provider, you should go for ISP license because you don’t need the hassle of dealing with policy changes. That being said, if you’re a start-up, which means you’re still learning the ropes of providing internet services, getting VNO license won’t be too bad. In fact, the change in policies will let you trim the fat and become a better company.

Requirement for bank guarantees

Let’s talk about the bank guarantees you’re required to deposit once you receive the letter of intent.

VNO License

You’re not required to pay any performance bank guarantee to get the VNO license issued.

ISP License

You’re required to pay the performance bank guarantee to obtain the ISP License.

Which one to choose?

Retrospectively, the license cost of a VNO is much lower than that of an ISP. Thus, if you’re a start-up internet service provider, opt for VNO license rather than an ISP License.

Franchise-ability of the business

Let’s talk about the difference between a VNO license and an ISP license based on the franchise-ability of the business

VNO License

You cannot franchise your VNO ISP business.

ISP License

You can definitely franchise your ISP business.

Which one to choose?

What is your goal? Is it to further expand your business into many regions without worrying about business management in those regions? If so, you should go with the ISP license. However, if you’re just stepping into the internet service market, you don’t need a franchise, what you need is to learn the business properly. In that case, choose a VNO.


Bottom line is, if your Internet Service Business has a lot of potential, but you don’t have a lot of money to invest towards it and you’re still learning the business, you should go with VNO license. On the other hand, if you’re a financially established entity with the potential to spread your business around and manage it, go with the ISP license. For answers to how to get VNO licensein India? Reach out to our consultants.

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