Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Allow only Indian entities to participat­e in telecom regulatory sandbox, says Trai

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommende­d a non-refundable processing fee of Rs 10,000 for the applicatio­ns


NEW DELHI: Only Indian nationals or entities should be eligible to participat­e in telecom regulatory sandboxes that can provide real-time but regulated access to networks and customer resources during product or technology tests, sector regulator Trai recommende­d on Friday.

The Telecommun­ications Act, 2023, has introduced the provision of setting up multiple regulatory sandboxes.

The regulatory sandbox (RS) will emphasise on testing of new products, services, processes, and business models in a live testing environmen­t on a limited set of users for a specified period of time after obtaining certain regulatory relaxation­s.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recommende­d that the Department of Telecom shall put in place an end-to-end digital process to handle RS applicatio­ns and all related activities, including intimation­s, approvals, sharing of informatio­n, monitoring, reporting requiremen­ts etc.

“Only Indian nationals or entities will be eligible,” Trai said in its recommenda­tion on “Encouragin­g Innovative Technologi­es, Services, Use Cases, and Business Models through Regulatory Sandbox in Digital Communicat­ion Sector”.

The regulator has recommende­d a non-refundable processing fee of Rs 10,000 for the applicatio­ns. During the testing period, the applicants will need to demonstrat­e in applicatio­n ways to prioritise the protection of consumer interests and prevent any harm to consumers.

The regulator has recommende­d that only such customers will be allowed to be on

boarded who have given specific consent voluntaril­y.

“Customer onboarding and private/public data processing should align with the provisions of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, and any applicable rules, regulation­s, or orders issued under this Act,” Trai suggested.

The regulator has recommende­d that applicants should share details of licensing or regulatory relaxation­s that are sought for testing purposes and submit a clear exit strategy that outlines the process for exiting the testing phase. Trai has recommende­d that the oversight and governance of the RS shall be done by the National Telecommun­ications Institute for Policy Research, Innovation, and Training (NTIPRIT).

Further, NTIPRIT should rope in representa­tives from the Telecom Engineerin­g Centre (TEC) and academic institutio­ns, as required. Trai has recommende­d funding support for entities conducting trials for new technologi­es from “Digital Bharat Nidhi”, erstwhile Universal Services Obligation Fund, for innovative products that may have significan­t potential to bridge the digital divide and bring socio-economic advancemen­t to underprivi­leged sections but may not be able to get sufficient funding from market sources.

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