The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a pre-consultation paper on unbundling of different layers of the telecom sector through differential licensing. These include the infrastructure, network, services and application layers among others.

The move comes after the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sought the regulator’s recommendations on the issue.

As per TRAI, the concept of unbundling of layers through differential licensing is enshrined in the new telecom policy, the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP), 2018. As per the current licensing regime, infrastructure, network and service layers are a part of a unified licence.

Additionally, TRAI has sought suggestions on different layers, their scope and required changes in licensing regime to enable such a framework. It has also sought suggestions on whether there should be a new regime of licensing on which the existing licensees can migrate within a specified time frame or a parallel incentivised licensing regime for unbundled layers of licence. Further, stakeholders have been asked to share views on various other reforms or changes that are required in the existing licensing regime.

The TRAI has sought written comments on the pre-consultation paper by January 6, 2020.