Licensing provisions for OTT operators threaten India’s startup ecosystem: IAMAI

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said on Friday that creating space for licensing provisions applicable to over-the-top (OTT) service providers poses an existential threat to India’s startup ecosystem by creating massive barriers to entry.

In its recommendations to the Telecommunications Draft Act, the industry body said: “Not only does this mean that ambitious Indian start-ups that are still evolving and evolving their business and monetization models will risk huge compliance costs in their infancy, but also that foreign investors may face bullish on Indian companies.” Emerging has a chilling effect, because of the extreme uncertainty in politics.”

infrastructure sector

An industry body representing the telecoms infrastructure sector has supported the creation of revenue sharing mechanisms for the OTT layer within the scope of the telecoms bill, adding that the implications of the move would be as far-reaching as they would be devastating.

She stressed that some policy experts continue to spread illusions about fair contributions from stakeholders within the OTT layer, which only seems to enhance the gatekeeping capabilities of the owners of the infrastructure layer on which OTT services run.

“These changes will only establish additional sources of revenue for established sectors while leaving the startup ecosystem vulnerable to compliance costs even when ahead of revenue,” she said.

scope of the review

It also noted that the scope of communication services should be reviewed and limited to those that allocate spectrum in a usable form. He noted that the time-tested distinction between entities controlling telecom spectrum and companies using spectrum should be maintained as it was the foundation that allowed innovation and deeper penetration of the Internet in India.

Far from the government’s stated goal of creating a trillion-dollar digital economy, part of the telecom infrastructure industry has sought to reignite discussions that threaten to erase the progress India’s tech industry has made so far.

IAMAI, in its letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), also expressed grave concern about the impact of these changes on India’s startup ecosystem and digital economy. IAMAI also sought to demonstrate the success of the current regulatory framework that has facilitated the creation of over 100 unicorns and $200+ billion growth, achievements that have enabled India to dream of a trillion dollar digital economy.

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