The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has modified its norms for network testing before commercial launch of services and extended the maximum available time to 180 days. Earlier, a timeframe of 90 days was provided for the same.

As per the new norms, the total number of test subscribers of any telco shall not exceed 5 per cent of the installed capacity of the company.

In addition, though the maximum time period for network testing has been extended to 180 days, telcos shall strive to ensure that their testing before commercial launch of services is completed within 90 days. If not so, they must make a representation to the DoT and seek timeline extension. In this case, the extension beyond 90 days will only be provided only if the telcos are able to prove that they are testing a new technology which requires more time to conclude, and that the quality of service norms, as prescribed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has not been achieved.

Further, seeking the extension, DoT has asked telcos to submit a copy of customer feedback and a detailed write up on how the extended period of testing will be utilised for improving the network performance and customer experience.