Telecom regulator TRAI has floated a discussion paper on encouraging innovative technologies, services, use cases, and business models through a regulatory sandbox in the digital communication sector.
The consultation paper proposes a draft sandbox framework and seeks inputs from stakeholders on its various aspects.
This draft sandbox framework includes information on the goals and scope of the architecture, participant eligibility requirements, prerequisites for applicants, supporting materials needed with applications, and application evaluation criteria.
Other elements include the application and approval process, waivers or modifications to the rules, validity period, revocation of permission, reporting, an oversight body, and funding of innovation for societal growth.
"The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on Encouraging Innovative Technologies, Services, Use Cases, and Business Models through Regulatory Sandbox in Digital Communication Sector," TRAI said in a statement.
Regulatory bodies in many countries have established sandbox frameworks for telecom tech innovation, TRAI said and explained that these frameworks allow testing new concepts in controlled environments, granting exemptions, allowances, or time-bound exceptions.
These frameworks aim to promote regulators' desire for innovation with economic resilience and consumer protection. It is in this backdrop, that the telecom department asked TRAI to provide recommendations on the framework for the regulatory sandbox.
"The authority approaches the issue with the aim to promote creativity and accelerate the uptake of cutting-edge technologies in the field of digital communications," TRAI said.
Emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, edge computing, and others are transforming and revolutionising the way in which people connect, interact, and access information.
According to TRAI, there is a need for providing an enabling environment for the development and deployment of novel technologies, services, use cases, and business models to stay up with this dynamic environment.
The regulatory sandbox strategy has gained traction throughout the world as a way to encourage innovation across various industries.
A regulatory sandbox provides a regulated setting where companies and innovators can test their concepts, goods, and services while operating under fluid regulations.
"Regulatory Sandbox will help the startup ecosystem in the telecom industry by giving them access to the real-time network environment and other data so that they may test the reliability of new applications before releasing them on the market," TRAI said.
To provide the starting company with a single window for obtaining all clearances, the regulatory sandbox also seeks to encourage cross-sectoral collaboration for carrying out such tests by enlisting the help of other ministries and departments.
The consultation paper discusses some of the regulatory sandbox frameworks that are working in the digital communication sector globally and also details some of the frameworks working within the country in other sectors.
The last date for written comments on the draft sandbox framework is July 17, 2023, and for counter comments August 1, 2023.