Indian Broadband Policy and Regulatory Resources

Licensing and Authorizations

Various countries use various methods to license or to authorize a person or organization to provide or to operate telecommunication services.  A license is mostly a general description of key rights and obligations of the licensees. In many cases licenses chart conditions relating to provision of services.

Although in many countries, the regulatory agencies rely on general authorization regimes, in the developing countries the regulators prefer detailed individual licenses. Because of various socio-political challenges these countries need to ensure the investors with some certainty. In many countries, existing laws and regulations suffices for many of the matters of importance. These laws and regulations include, regulations on universal service, universal service fees, information reporting or authorization termination and renewal, competition law etc. For more details on Individual Licenses.

Unified licensing enables any operator to offer any type of service using any technology. This means that under unified licensing a single service provider can offer both fixed and mobile services under one license. With unified licensing, a government does not need to meddle with the technology and licensing issues but let the market forces determine the future of the technology and the number of players in the market.   The chronology of the transition to the Unified Authorization Regime in India can be accessed here


Country Studies

South Africa Electronic Communications act  – The South African Electronic Communications Act, 2006 was designed to respond to convergence in the ICT sector. The Act’s provisions address the regulation of the communications sector; licensing and related social obligations; control of the radio frequency spectrum; and Universal Services.

Uganda case study on convergence – This case study follows Uganda’s attempt at convergence and the licensing and authorization process.


Why China and the US are fighting over 5G

Licensing and Authorization frameworks for Broadband – Licensing is authorization to build a network and/or to offer services of different kinds over a network. This link gives and overview of Licensing and Authorization frameworks

General Authorization – General authorization and open entry regimes have gained acceptance in developed economies as ‘best practices’ for permitting the provision of a wide range of ICT services. This section will review practices and procedures that have been adopted in these regimes.

Competitive Licensing Process – This link discusses competitive licensing processes, the purposes for which they are used, and the methods for carrying them. 

Licensing for Convergence and NGN – The move towards Next-Generation Networks (NGN) is the most recent step in the convergence-driven evolution of the ICT sector. The following sections outline authorization issues raised by convergence and NGN and review the practices and procedural approaches currently being developed in response to these issues.



FCC Mandates Multi-Stakeholder Model For Unlicensed Spectrum – Why Not Open Internet?

What The LTE-U Vs. WiFi Debate Is Really About – Unlicensed spectrum is quickly becoming a hot topic as the fate of a next-generation technology called LTE-U emerges to meet increasing demand speed and functionality on wireless networks. On the one hand, WiFi proponents want to preserve as much unlicensed spectrum as they can for WiFi service, and on the other, wireless carriers want the ability to innovate to improve their customers’ experience.

Licensing to support growth of broadband – This paper gives an introduction to licensing policies supportive of broadband roll-out. The main licensing principles to follow are neutrality, simplification, flexibility, non-discrimination, adoption of open market entry policies, detachment of spectrum from operating licenses and encouragement of spectrum sharing.