A Glimpse of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018

A Glimpse of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018

The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 (NDCP 2018) replaces the existing National Telecom Policy 2012. The Policy aims to accelerate India’s participation in the global digital economy and to cater to the modern needs of the digital communications sector, by establishing ubiquitous, resilient and affordable digital communications infrastructure and services.

The Policy is customer focused and application driven, and will help lead to new ideas and innovations after launch of advanced technology such as 5G, IOT, M2M, etc. The policy aims to ensure digital sovereignty, and achieve the following strategic objectives by 2022:

  • Provisioning of Broadband for all;
  • Creating four million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector;
  • Enhancing contribution of Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from approx. 6% in 2017;
  • Propelling India to Top 50 Nations in ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017;
  • Enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains; and
  • Ensuring Digital Sovereignty.

This policy is expected to facilitate the unleashing of the creative energies of citizens, enterprises and institutions in India; and play a seminal role in fulfilling the aspirations of all Indians for a better quality of life.

features, Strategy and Mission

NDCP 2018 aims to ensure the following:
  • Universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen;
  • 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020, and 10 Gbps by 2022;
  • Internet connectivity to all uncovered areas; 
  • Attract investments of US $100 billion in Digital Communications Sector; 
  • Train 1 million manpower for building New Age Skill;
  • Expand IOT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices; 
  • Establish comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals;
  • Facilitate India’s effective participation in global digital economy; 
  • Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and secure digital communications infrastructure and services; and
  • Recognizes and promotes investment in all aspects of the industry i.e., R&D, product development including incentives for local manufacturing.

NDCP 2018 advocates:

  • Establishment of National Digital Grid by creating National Fibre Authority. 
  • Establishment of common service ducts and utility corridors in all new city and highway road projects.
  • Create collaborative institutional mechanism between Centre, States and Local Bodies for Common Rights of Way;
  • Standardization of costs and timelines;
  • Removal of barriers to approvals: and
  • Facilitation in development of open access Next Generation Networks (NGN). 

The Policy envisages following three missions to achieve its objectives:-

Connect India:Creating robust digital communication infrastructure.
  • Establishing a ‘National Broadband Mission - Rashtriya Broadband Abhiyan’ to secure universal broadband access;
  • Recognizing Spectrum as a key natural resource for public benefit to achieve India’s socio-economic goals, ensure transparency in allocation and optimize availability and utilization; 
  • Strengthening Satellite Communication Technologies in India;
  • Ensuring Inclusion of uncovered areas and digitally deprived segments of society by channelizing the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF); and
  • Ensuring Customer Satisfaction, Quality of Service and effective Grievance Redressal

Propel India:Enabling next generation technologies and services through investments, innovation and IPR generation. 

  • Catalyzing Investments for Digital Communications sector;
  • Ensuring a holistic and harmonized approach for harnessing Emerging Technologies; 
  • Promoting and establishment of fund for Research & Development in Digital Communication Technologies;
  • Promoting Start-ups and SMEs;
  • Promoting domestic manufacturing and exports and ensuring compliance to Preferential Market Access requirements;
  • Building human resource capital to facilitate employment opportunities in Digital Communications Sector; and 
  • Strengthening of PSUs through technical expertise and knowledge management.
  • Accelerating Industry 4.0 by creating a roadmap for transition to Industry 4.0 by 2020, and developing market for IOT/ M2M connectivity services in sectors including Agriculture, Smart Cities, Intelligent Transport Networks, Multimodal Logistics, Smart Electricity Meter, Consumer Durables etc. incorporating international best practices.

Secure India:Ensuring digital sovereignty, safety and security of digital communications.

  • Establishment of strong, flexible and robust data protection regime for digital communications to  safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals and facilitates India’s effective participation in the global digital economy;
  • Provide autonomy and choice for every citizen and enterprise by ensuring net neutrality principles are upheld and aligned with service requirements, bandwidth availability and network capabilities including next generation access technologies;  
  • Assure Security of Digital Communications 
  • Developing a comprehensive plan for network preparedness, disaster response relief, restoration and reconstruction;

The advent of NDCP, 2018 comes as a big respite to the ailing sector and shows silver lining as it seeks to overhaul the existing policy and regulatory framework, acknowledging certain long-standing concerns and supporting services based on next-gen technologies. However, it remains to be seen if it is realistic to implement the envisaged framework within the given time frame. 

Contact ANBs domain experts to help identify and operationalize key opportunities emanating from this policy, for all constituents of the telecom ecosystem.


Explore a Vision of Growth !


901, Kamla Executive Park,
J B Nagar,
Andheri East, Mumbai-400059

+9122 4221 5300

Copyright © 2019 ANB