General Conditions for the Application of the Regulatory Sandbox and the Sectoral Regulatory Sandbox of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications | The tone | Panda Anku

Last August 3, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (hereinafter “MinTIC”) issued Decree 1448 of 2022 with the aim of establishing the general conditions and procedure for the application of the Regulatory Sandbox as well as the Sectorial Regulatory Sandbox . The former are emerging as alternative regulatory mechanisms based on supervised experiments aimed at generating innovation in all aspects of communication network and service delivery. In particular, the decree applies to providers of telecommunications and radio networks and services as well as postal service operators (hereinafter “providers” or “operators”) who want to offer innovative products, services and/or solutions via the above-mentioned sandboxes. On this basis, the decree provides two different options:

  1. Regulatory sandbox: An exploratory regulatory mechanism that allows suppliers and operators to offer and test products, services and solutions subject to a flexible regulatory framework or set of regulatory exceptions, for a limited period and region, in a controlled environment.
  2. Sectoral regulatory sandbox: An exploratory regulatory mechanism that applies when the products, services or solutions to be tested and proposed by providers and operators are subject to a regulatory framework involving two or more bodies of the sector, i.e. the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, the Communications Regulatory Commission or, as appropriate, the National Spectrum Agency.

Therefore, the Decree establishes a preparatory phase in which the MinTIC will support the operators and/or providers interested in submitting proposals for the relevant regulatory sandbox and in which dissemination and training activities will be carried out in order to provide additional tools for the provide participants.

In addition, the decree stipulates that both sandboxes will be developed in the following 4 phases:

  1. implementation phase: MinTIC publishes on its website the opening of the public call for acceptance of proposals, indicating the dates they will be received and other requirements to apply for inclusion in the relevant sandbox. To be eligible, operators and/or suppliers must meet all the requirements set out in the call for proposals.
  2. evaluation phase: Depending on the number of proposals qualified in the application phase and their subject, the MinTIC will publish a new schedule. Based on this, the MinTIC evaluates the various proposals according to the following selection criteria:
    • Innovation: The proposal must demonstrate that it integrates an innovation with respect to the offer available on the market.
    • Benefits for citizens: The proposal must demonstrate benefits for citizens.
    • Proven needs: The proposal must show why it cannot be implemented in the current legal framework.
    • Experience of the proposer: The proposal must show that the proposer can implement it satisfactorily.

    Once this phase is completed, MinTIC will authorize these operators and/or providers through specific and concrete administrative acts to start the experimentation phase

  3. experimental phase: Once the appropriate authorization has been obtained, without prejudice to the necessary adjustments, the experimentation phase begins and operators and/or providers can start commercializing or exploiting their products, services or solutions, thereby activating the information collection protocol(s) defined1. This phase lasts twelve (12) months from the approval issued by MinTIC, which can be renewed once for the same period of time. In order to analyze the application for a term extension, the MinTIC reviews the defined success indicators and other information collected. In addition, one of the following scenarios must be true:
  4. exit phase: Approved projects can choose one of the following options to exit the regulatory sandbox experimentation phase:

Finally, within six (6) months after the end of the initial phase of the experimental phase, the MinTIC will publish on its website a final report with the conclusions and results of the sandbox development, which will define the need for a change in the general regulatory framework.

1.The data collection protocols specify the means and periodicity of data collection, the amount, confidentiality and monitoring of the data, the parties who have access to the data collected and other conditions to be met by the operators and/or providers.

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