Stand-alone policy on IoT on cards

The department of telecom (DoT) will bring soon announce a stand-alone policy on internet of things (IoT) under a regulatory and security framework and is curre­ntly identifying appropriate spectrum bands and technology for this web-enabled ecosystem.

A policy on IoT is needed given its potential and the government’s thrust on transitioning to 5G technology in time. 

According to experts, before following the 5G road map, the country needs to transform its internet infrastructure. It would require to adopt an advanced communication technology, which not only smartphones but also smart home devices, cars, smart watches and almost every electronic communication device would be using. India is yet to upgrade infrastructure for technologies like AR, IoT and AI, they say and point out that 5G would be a potential enabler in the tech ecosystem. Str­ong presence of these technologies will help fully unlock the potential of 5G in the tech ecosystem, they say.

The department, which has formed a group under the guidance member (technology), is studying the business models of IoT – the revenue, cost and product sharing. The government is looking for simplified licencing and regulatory framework for IoT/ M2M service provi­der. To facilitate this, Trai had advocated a coordinated approach to the development of 5G services, IoT/ M2M systems, and their security framework. 

It had further suggested coordinating with stakeholders relating to agriculture, smart cities, intelligent tran­sport networks, multi-modal logistics, smart electricity meter, consumer durables to develop a market for IoT/ M2M connectivity services.

The group is looking at the technology and spectrum band considerations for IoT networks and exploring how the value chain and technology of IoT networks can be useful for India. It is also in the process to identifying appropriate technologies and spectrum bands, said the sources.

The policy consideration for DoT on IoT are with regard to global deployment, promoting investment, buil­ding trust, inter-operability, traffic management and sp­e­ctrum, sources said adding with the growth in adoption of Internet of Things, concerns regarding the nature of data being collected and the purpose for which it will be used needs to be addressed.

Licence agreements are executed between DoT and telecom operators, meaning that subscribers may not have a direct recourse against telecom players as far as protection of their data is concerned. Perhaps the data protection law along with communication-specific regulations will bridge this gap, said the sources highlight why such a stand-alone rules framework is needed.