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India Fostering Innovation in Digital Communication

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published a consultation paper on encouraging innovative technologies, services, use cases, and business models through a regulatory sandbox in the digital communication sector.

In countries across the world, regulatory bodies have implemented sandbox frameworks to facilitate innovation in the telecommunications technology sector. These frameworks provide controlled environments for testing new concepts and offer exemptions, allowances, or time-bound exceptions.

They are designed to align with regulatory goals of fostering innovation while ensuring economic resilience and consumer protection. Against this backdrop, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has sought recommendations from TRAI regarding a framework for a regulatory sandbox.

According to a press release, TRAI approaches this issue intending to foster creativity and expedite the adoption of advanced technologies in the realm of digital communications. The rapid evolution of the digital communication sector, fueled by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, edge computing, and others, is reshaping how the world connects, interacts, and accesses information.

Considering this dynamic landscape, there is a need to create a conducive environment that supports the development and implementation of new technologies, services, use cases, and business models.

In its consultation paper, TRAI examines existing regulatory sandbox frameworks operating globally in the field of digital communications and highlights similar frameworks in other sectors within the country. It also proposes a draft of a sandbox framework and invites feedback from stakeholders on its suggested structure and provisions.

The draft sandbox framework includes the objectives and scope of the framework, criteria for participant eligibility, prerequisites for applicants, supporting material requirements during the application process, evaluation criteria for applications, the process of submitting and approving applications, provisions for waivers or modifications to the rules, validity period, procedures for revoking permissions, reporting mechanisms, the governing body responsible for oversight, and the allocation of funds to support innovation for societal development.

The consultation paper has been made available on TRAI’s official website. Stakeholders are invited to submit written comments on the draft sandbox framework by 17 July, and counter comments by 1 August.

The concept of a regulatory sandbox has gained popularity worldwide to foster innovation across various industries. It offers a regulated setting where companies and innovators can experiment with their concepts, products, and services while operating within fluid regulations.

Sandboxing frameworks were first piloted in the financial sector helping fintech startups to innovate. The UK, Singapore, and Australia have established regulatory sandboxes to promote innovation and competition in the fintech sector while ensuring consumer protection.

In the telecom industry, a regulatory sandbox is expected to benefit the startup ecosystem by granting them access to real-time network environments and data. Digital communication products and services are typically deployed at a large scale, serving millions of customers simultaneously. Therefore, testing these products and services for their scalability and reliability is critical.

By providing starting companies with a single window to obtain clearances, a regulatory sandbox will encourage cross-sectoral collaboration for carrying out tests by involving other ministries and departments.

A sandbox can also provide a platform for intra sector-collaboration between different stakeholders in the digital communication industry, including telecom service providers (TSPs), equipment manufacturers, academicians, and developers, which can lead to the discovery of new use cases and innovative solutions.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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