While it cleared the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) proposal of norms for mobile operators to conduct network testing before commercial launch of mobile services, capping the test phase for trials to 180 days, the Telecom Commission has sought the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) suggestions on the same for fixed-line services. This comes shortly ahead of Reliance Jio’s full roll out of broadband services.
“Now these decisions (TRAI’s recommendations) were accepted and it was decided that…although TRAI had left extensions beyond 90 days to the DoT (Department of Telecom), the Telecom Commission felt there should be an absolute finality to it, so it should be capped at 180 days,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters after the meeting of Telecom Commission.
Noting that the extensions cannot be given in an “arbitrary” manner, Sundararajan said that the telecom department will have to “formulate clear guidelines for giving extension beyond 90 days”. The Commission also decided that TRAI should give recommendations prescribing a framework for testing in case of fixed lines , she said. “So that reference will be going to TRAI immediately,” she said. In its recommendations submitted in December last year, TRAI had proposed capping the number of test subscribers to five per cent of installed network capacity for a service area, also called a telecom circle.
The apex decision-making body of the DoT also cleared the proposal to constitute a Machine-to-Machine apex body which will have representatives from other regulatory authorities. A ‘National Trusts Centre’ will be constituted for certifying M2M devices and applications including imported ones, Sundararajan said. For a framework on cloud services, the commission suggested a light-touch regulatory framework and noted that self regulation would be encouraged in the initial days as the market develops.