The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a notification on August 8th, 2023. It is for recommending a new license category within a Unified License (UL) called ‘Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider’. Its motive is to boost creation of active/ passive digital connectivity infrastructure to cut network infrastructure rollout costs.
This recommendation of TRAI telecom is in line with National Digital Communications Policy (NDPC-2018). It fulfills the important role of digital infrastructure in driving economic growth and improving the quality of telecom services. Below is a complete analysis of the notification on how you can obtain a DCIP license.
DCIP full form is Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider. The DCIPs can provide both passive infrastructure and create active networks (excluding core elements). So it results in increased common shareable and network resources, reduction of cost, and attract investment.
The telecom India regulator has recommended a new category of license under UL to boost creation of active/passive digital connectivity infrastructure. So, the government made provisions to ensure that Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider (DCIP) permit-holders can buy radio equipment, but without any assignment of spectrum.
Along with this, the National Digital Communications Policy–2018 has put much emphasis on “Digital infrastructure and services are increasingly emerging as key enablers and critical determinants of a country’s growth and well-being”. Under ‘Connect India’ mission, NDCP advocates Creating Robust Digital Communications Infrastructure. To promote Broadband for All as a tool for socio-economic development, while ensuring service quality and environmental sustainability”.
The presence of neutral third-party entities that can create passive as well as certain network layer active infrastructure. It can help in increased sharing and can bring down overall infrastructure cost and strengthen services delivery.
The registered entities will be able to provide both active infrastructures and passive infrastructure as a service to telecom operators except core network elements and spectrum. There are four categories of licensable activities:
1. Network Facilities Providers - the fundamental building block of the convergence model upon which network, applications and content services are provided.
2. Network Services Providers - basic connectivity services and bandwidth Provider.
3. Applications Service Providers - voice services, data services, content-based services, electronic commerce, and other transmission services providers.
4. Content Applications Service Providers - subset of applications service providers including traditional broadcast services and the latest services such as online publishing and information services.
The DCIP authorization holder are allow to do the following activities:
The following conditions may be followed by DCIPs: -
The following are the documents that must be submitted by new DCIPs to obtain a license:
Some critical compliances of UL are Security Conditions, Data Privacy, Confidentiality, Technical Standard, Quality of Service norms, location of network elements, facilitating inspection, and testing of Installations, should also be applicable to DCIP.
So, this is to ensure a level playing field for all interest groups. By imposing QoS requirements on DCIP, it will incentivize the availability of a better network for end users. The other aspects of DCIP are as follows:
The current digital infrastructure sector players who are currently registered as IP-Is, have to take the new license and migrate their assets under this license to DCIP. The process of migration of IP-1s to DCIP is easy. The IP-1 registered entities can migrate to the UL even under the current regime, as there is no prohibition on it.
Some of the UL license holders who are offering active assets for sharing under different authorizations also have to take DCIP authorization. So, they need to offer all infrastructure services under this Authorization as it will not attract any license fees. As stakeholders state that they don't face any issue in the migration of IP-1s to DCIP. The Authority has not made any specific recommendations in the notification.
As per the information given above, the entry of many new players in the field of digital infrastructure will help in creation of more and more DCI. On the entry barriers it kept as low as possible. Now the registered IP-1 license holders can migrate to DCIP or the new applicant can also apply for the DCIP license.
We at Registrationwala assist you in the complete process of migration or to file new applications. Reach out to us and obtain a Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider license.
Q. Who are the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Providers?
The Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider are those who will create both active as well as passive infrastructure. The active infrastructure includes antennas, switches, servers, databases, radio access nodes, and transmission equipment. On the other hand, passive infrastructure includes sites, towers, poles, ducts, electric power, and air conditioning.
Q. What is Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider license fees?
The Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider will get authorisation under the Unified License and does not require any license fees, but the entry fee of Rs. 2 lakh and processing fees of Rs. 15 thousand will be charged.
Q. What is the minimum eligibility for getting a Unified License in India?
For DCIP is it important to enter into agreement for designed DCI capacity with only eligible service provider(s), that their equipment, and systems can support. Otherwise, it may affect the technical and QoS benchmark parameters. Also, for provisioning of services of some eligible service providers at the cost of others.
Q. What is telecom regulatory authority?
The TRAI full form is Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and it ensures that interest of consumers get protected in telecom businesses. And similarly create conditions for the growth of telecommunication, broadcasting and cable services. It plays a vital role in the emerging global information technology.
Q. What is the difference between TRAI and DoT?
The TRAI telecom is an independent regulatory authority of India and provides recommendations on significant aspects of telecom regulation. DoT full form is Department of Telecommunication networks and it is under the Ministry of Communications and not obligated to seek advice from TRAI. The TRAI is a dispute settlement body, DoT creates policies for the telecom sector.