Trai recommends creation of new category of license for digital connectivity infra providers


New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended creation of a new category of license called the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider (DCIP) which will be allowed to create active as well as passive digital connectivity infrastructure.  

The license category will be an authorisation under the unified license and would not be levied any license fees, but a one-time entry fee of 2 lakh and processing fee at  15,000 will be charged.  

“The scope of the proposed DCIP authorization includes to own, establish, maintain, and work all such apparatus, appliance, instrument, equipment, and system which are required for establishing all Wireline Access Network, Radio Access Network (RAN), Wi-Fi systems, and Transmission Links,” the regulator said.  

The scope of the license will exclude spectrum, core network elements and provisioning of end-to-end bandwidth using transmission systems to any customer or for its own use, but include right of way, duct space, dark fiber, poles, tower, feeder cable, antenna, base station, in-building solution (IBS), distributed antenna system, within any part of India.  

DCIP will be allowed to install wired transmission link other than wireless, to connect to its own base band or radio units.  

Trai said that the penalty for violation will be same as that if internet service providers, and no performance bank guarantee will be charged. To keep the authorization light touch under UL several conditions of Part-I of unified license have been exempted from applicability to DCIP authorization, the regulator said. 

For ensuring compliance of the security conditions, quality of service, interconnection, non-discrimination etc. of the license, principal -agent relationship between DCIP and licensed entities have been used for self- regulation whereby DCIPs have been obligated to install DCI items, equipment, and systems in such a way that the hirer of their infrastructure is able to fulfill the licensing conditions including technical, operating, Quality of Service (QoS) and security conditions, when riding on their DCI items, equipment, and systems; subject to such other directions as Licensor or TRAI may give from time to time.  

DCIPs have also been obligated to ensure that they enter into a formal written agreement with eligible entities which should contain clauses obligating DCIPs to ensure that hirer of their DCI items, equipment, and systems is able to fulfill the licensing conditions.  

“The DCIP licensees have been allowed to share all infrastructure owned, established, and operated by them under the scope of their authorization with other licensees under UL and also with internet service providers, subject to condition that only such infrastructure will be shared that is allowed to be established by other licensee in its own license,” the regulator said.  

Trai has recommended that DCIP licensee should be eligible to apply for and issue of licence under the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 to possess such wireless telegraphy apparatus without assignment of any spectrum that is permitted under the scope of DCIP authorization.  

Trai had suggested last year that street furniture should be used for small cell and aerial fiber deployment and that enabling provisions or suitable terms and conditions be introduced in all telecom licenses, IP-I registration agreements from entering into exclusive agreements with specific entities leading to exclusion of others. The same has been recommended for DCIP authorization.


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Updated: 09 Aug 2023, 03:09 AM IST

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