TRAI Presents Recommended Regulatory Sandbox Framework

Last week, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) presented its recommended regulatory sandbox framework for the digital communication sector, to facilitate the testing of new technologies in a live testing environment.

The framework is aimed at “promoting innovation, protecting consumer interests, reduce regulatory burden, and mitigating potential risks associated with new technologies and business models”. Its scope includes any new digital communication service or technology that requires testing in a controlled live network environment where certain regulatory or licensing relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing are required.

TRAI’s recommendations elaborate on the eligibility criteria, essential conditions, supporting documents to be submitted along with the application (including incorporation certification, details of potential risks, testing plan, exit strategy, etc.), the application, evaluation, and approval process, and so on. The permission accorded under the framework will be valid for a period of 12 months. However, the same may be extended. Further, applicants can file for early completion of testing or early termination of the proposal.

It is envisaged that once permission is accorded to the entity, it should establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism. The recommendations also shed light on the oversight and governance of the regulatory sandbox and the extension of financial support in certain scenarios.


Date: April 16, 2024