Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on Thursday, has floated a consultation paper on “Encouraging Innovative Technologies, Services, Use Cases, and Business Models through Regulatory Sandbox in Digital Communication Sector”.

Through this consultation paper, the industry body proposes a draft sandbox framework and seeks inputs from stakeholders on its various aspects. Sandbox refers to live testing of new products or services in a controlled regulatory environment.

The last date for written comments on the draft sandbox framework is July 17, and for counter comments is August 1, 2023, TRAI said.

The Authority approaches the issue with an aim to promote creativity and accelerate the uptake of cutting-edge technologies in the field of digital communications. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, and others are revolutionising how we connect, interact, and access information, causing the digital communication sector to swiftly evolve, TRAI said.

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Therefore, “There is a need for providing an enabling environment for the development and deployment of novel technologies, services, use cases, and business models in order to stay up with this dynamic environment,” it said.

Sandbox framework

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.

Regulatory bodies in many countries have established sandbox frameworks for telecom tech innovation these frameworks allow testing new concepts in controlled environments, granting exemptions, allowances, or time-bound exceptions.

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In this background, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had requested TRAI to provide recommendations on framework for regulatory sandbox, it said.

“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 added.