Tech Peak » IP1 License: Difference Between Active and Passive Infrastructure

IP1 License: Difference Between Active and Passive Infrastructure

by registrationwala
IP1 License

What is the difference between a Passive and an Active Telecom infrastructure?

This question is a major source of confusion for many companies in India. It’s especially the case in context of Infrastructure Provider. A company that provides infrastructure to telecom companies so that they can operate, an Infrastructure provider(IP1 License) is a valuable business entity. 

However, people sometimes tend to either overestimate or underestimate its value. Sometimes they deem an Infrastructure Provider unnecessary – believing that TSPs “manufacture” the telecom resources themselves. And other times, people believe that becoming an infrastructure provider allows them to provide all the telecommunication resources that TSPs rely on to operate. 

However, none of them is the case. 

Passive, within telecommunication context, means non-electric. Thus, within Telecom, passive resources means elements that don’t rely on electricity to operate. While active resources are those that operate within the active layer of the telecommunication paradigm. 

In this article, we are going to shine a light on those active and passive telecommunication resources. Doing so will finally give you the reason behind the existence of an IP1 License. 

What is an Active Infrastructure?

An Active telecom resource is a telecommunication utility that runs of electricity. In Simple words, in telecom context it means the resource that runs on the active layer of the telecommunication network. The resources that come within that layer are as follows:

  1. Antenna,
  2. Mobile Switching Centre,
  3. Base Terminal Station,
  4. Terminal Equipment at the Base Station,
  5. Feeder cable,
  6. Radio Access Network, and more 

These are the resources that facilitate communication between different entities and are present within the active layer of the telecom hierarchy. 

What is a Passive Infrastructure?

In layman terms, passive infrastructure consist of non electrical resources that you can consider as elements of Telecommunication networks. Therefore, they consist of civil elements and resources that support the TSPs and ISPs:

  1. Right Of Way: Right of Way is the legal prerogative of ISPs and other TSPs to lay their cables across urban areas without any legal issues. You can thus state that it’s the legal right that lies at the foundation of  all the services that Telecom companies are able to provide.
  2. Duct Space: Digital equipment such as servers etc. need proper venting modules so that the heat they generate during operations can be vented out periodically. Duct Space is one of those modules.
  3. Cell Towers: Cell Towers facilitate wireless communications within a cellular boundary  where it’s signals are able to reach out. 
  4. Dark Fibres: Dark Fibres are unpowered optical fibres used to establish high speed internet connectivity.

Also ReadPayment Gateway License Eligibility

Which resource IP1 License is able to provide?

As per the official notification by the Department of Telecommunication, the IP1 license allows the licensee to facilitate TSPs and ISPs with passive telecommunication resources. 

When it comes to the procedure to obtain the IP1 License, it’s a standard one.

What is the procedure to obtain IP1 License in India?

  1. First, the applicant has to furnish all the requisite documents:
    1. Certificate of incorporation,
    2. Memorandum of Association,
    3. Articles of Association,
    4. List of Company’s Directors and Shareholders,
    5. Net worth Certificate of the company along with Company’s, 
    6. And, A small description of the applicant’s business objective.
  2. Afterwards, the applicant must fill and offline application and later physically submit it alongside the furnished documents to the DOT.
  3. Upon receiving the application, the DOT starts vigilantly assessing it and the rest of the documents. 
  4. If the applicant meets the eligibility criteria, DOT will grant them the IP1 License. 


Active Infrastructure are telecom resources that operate on the active layer, while the passive infrastructure operate on the passive one. Therefore, this article has unveiled more differences between these two and more. For further details about the kind of infrastructure you can provide via IP1 license, contact Registrationwala.

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