TRAI Recommends No License Fee for Telecom Infrastructure Providers

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested that the government create new permits for digital infrastructure service providers without charging the companies a license fee. In a proposal titled “Introduction of Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider (DCIP) Authorization under Unified License”, TRAI suggested that entities registered under the proposed license should be able to offer telecom operators both active and passive infrastructures, excluding core network elements and spectrum.

The Authority suggested naming the new type of licence as “Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider (DCIP) Licence.” They proposed a Rs 2 lakh entry charge and a Rs 15,000 application processing fee for DCIP However, TRAI stated that there should be no licence fee applicable to DCIP authorization.

This recommendation comes after the discontinuation of Infrastructure Provider II licenses in December These licenses required companies to pay a licence fee for providing infrastructure, which was opposed by telecom tower companies. Currently, entities that own and operate active network elements are required to pay an 8 per cent licence fee.

TRAI has also recommended that the proposed DCIP licence should not exist as an independent licence, but rather be considered as an authorization within a Unified Licence framework. The government’s objective in eliminating the licence fee for telecom infrastructure providers is to promote the development of digital connectivity infrastructure in India.