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Difference between UL VNO license and ISP License

People face confusion when they hear the term ISP. While they understand that the term stands for Internet Service Provider, they don’t understand that there is more than one way to become one. It’s the reason people often ignore the UL VNO License. 

But not anymore. When you read this article, you’ll be able to find major differences between a UL VNO License and an ISP License. Understanding them will let you make a decision which one you should choose for your Internet Business. 

What is an ISP License?

An ISP License or ISP Registration is the permission to establish an ISP in India. Issued by the DOT (Department of Telecommunication), it’s a permission that’s only for Private Limited Companies with the ability to provide internet services of the highest degree. 

Depending upon the size of the service area in which these companies want to provide their services, there are three ISP License categories:

  1. Category A ISP License: ISP License Category A is for private limited companies that have the technological resources to provide internet connectivity across the whole country.
  2. ISP License Category B: ISP license Category B is for the Companies that want to make the wise decision to provide internet services within a state or a metropolitan city.
  3. Category C ISP License: ISP License Category C is for those seeking to spread internet connectivity within small towns, villages of cities

What is a UL VNO License?

 A UL VNO License is also permission to establish an ISP in India. And like an ISP, a VNO License also consists of three categories:

  1. PAN India: It empowers the licensee to cover the entire country with its internet services.
  2. State-wise: With it, the license holder facilitates entire states or metropolitan cities with internet connectivity.
  3. Category C: For those seeking to provide internet services within a small region, the category ISP VNO License is the choice. 

However, the way that these entities establish their networks is where differences start to emerge. 

Difference between a UL VNO ISP and a standard ISP

There are different aspects of a VNO License and an ISP License on which they differ. Let’s discuss those as concisely as possible:


  • Traditional ISP: A Traditional ISP uses high-end and expensive resources to provide internet services to its subscribers. 
  • VNO ISP: A VNO ISP uses virtual networks instead of high-end resources to provide telecom services to the customers. 


  • ISP License: Change in ISP License policy doesn’t impact the validity of the ISP License currently held by companies. 
  • VNO License: Change in VNO License policy might impact the validity of the current VNO License holders. 


  • ISP License: The validity of the ISP License is that of 20 years.
  • VNO License: Those with VNO License can enjoy the perks that come with it for 10 years.


  • ISP License: ISP License holders can franchise their business and open multiple branches within the are they’re allowed to provide their services. 
  • VNO License: VNO License holders can’t franchise their services of networks to other telecom companies. 

Bank Guarantees:

  • ISP License: Aspirants of ISP License have to submit both Performance and Financial Bank Guarantee to sign the ISP License agreement.
  • VNO License: Companies can sign the final VNO License agreement after only paying the financial bank guarantee. 

Also Read: Insurance Web Aggregator License


Both ISP and VNO License appear to be the same. However, if you (metaphorically) squint your eyes and try to read between the lines, the differences will start to emerge. Both of them, while granting the same power to the licensees, do so at a different scale. Furthermore, their validity is also different. All these factors and more must be kept in mind before you make a decision between the two. 

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