The Government of India has allowed Private Sector’s Company to apply for Internet Service Provider (ISP) Licence to start their own ISP business. This license is commonly known as a Unified License (UL). Private Sector Company can apply for ISP license for different areas under the Unified License.
It is mandatory for the Company to have a Unified License for providing ISP services for a certain area. One Company can acquire only one Unified License (UL), but can also apply for more than one ISP Authorization for other areas. Although the validity of all Authorization shall be till the validity of Unified License (UL).
To apply for an ISP license in India, you need a registered company under the Companies Act, 2013. Registration SEVA can also help you in getting the Company registered. The company can be a Private Limited Company or Public Limited Company.
Category A – All India Level – (National Area). This license is for Pan India operations.
Category B – State Level (Telecom Circle /Metro circle) – Class B license is issued for a total of 20 major states or any of the following Metro Cities – Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. The govt keeps issuing notifications regarding territories declared as telecom circles and metro areas from time to time. To know more about the Telecom Circles and Metro Areas in India
Category C – SSA (Secondary Switching Area) – This license is for only a particular secondary switching area. A secondary switching area is a government-defined territory which could comprise of several small villages, towns, or even districts. A class C license holder will have access to any 1 particular SSA only unless he applies for multiple authorizations under one unified License.
If you have no experience in the ISP business & limited capital to invest, we recommend you to opt for an existing ISP’s franchise.
If you have some experience in the ISP business, you can consider opting for an ISP license.
Having an ISP license makes it easier to buy bandwidth at cheaper rates. However, this only makes sense if you have an existing subscriber base.
Your ISP license agreement is valid for a period of 20 years
The Government of India has come up with one license for all telecom related services, known as a Unified License. Under unified license, the license holder can apply for authorization of different services & service areas. To become an ISP, one must acquire a Unified License under which he will obtain Authorization for providing ISP services. Hence, it must be understood that one has to apply for an ISP Authorization for a service area under the Unified License.
One company can hold only one Unified License, but can apply for service area authorization of multiple services and/or service areas. In India, there are 3 categories of Unified (ISP) license service area authorization:
Category ‘A’ – National Area
Category ‘B’ – Telecom Circle/Metro Area (Click here to view list of Category ‘B’ Service Areas)
Category ‘C’ – Secondary Switching Area (Click here to view list of Category ‘C’ Service Areas)
The complete process from filing your application to getting the Unified (ISP) license takes about 3-5 months.
Once you file your application, the DoT will issue you a ‘Letter of intent’ within 2 months. After this, it takes about 1-3 months to furnish all bank guarantees and additional information required by the DoT.