DoT lays down norms for extension of network testing before launch of commercial services beyond 90 days

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today notified the norms for extension of network testing before the launch of commercial services beyond 90 days. The earlier norms which were issued in 2018 had a cap of 90 days for network testing including test subscribers with additional time for network testing provided on a case to case basis.

The norms for extension state that if a licensee fails to conclude network testing within 90 days then it may seek representation to DoT three weeks prior to the end of 90 days testing period and seek additional time for network testing. The same will be subject to the condition that the total time period of network testing provided to the licensee will not exceed 180 days with the number of test subscribers limited to 5 percent of the installed capacity as submitted during the initial request by the licensee.

The extension of network testing period beyond 90 days will only be granted if new technology is under testing and requires more time to conclude, Quality of Service (QoS) is not achieved during testing as per TRAI norms, and network modifications have been made during the initial testing period of 90 days.

The licensee will have to specify the category under which the request has been made with the new technology specified under test or the network modifications done during initial network testing period. It will further have to specify the total number of test subscribers served during the testing period LSA wise, QoS parameters achieved as per TRAI format, features tested and specific components regarding shortcomings, report on customers feedback, and detailed write up on how the extended period of network testing will be utilized for improving the network performance and customer experience.

DoT will decide on the request for extension and final decision will be intimated before the expiry of the network testing period of 90 days based on the submissions of the licensee.

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