How to become an Internet Service Provider in India?

How to become an Internet service provider in India?

In this article we provide information on how to become an Internet service provider in India

Quick Summary

  1. Plan your business and network
  2. Research laws and apply for an ISP license
  3. Start evaluating for hardware/software vendors
  4. Get your ISP license approval from DoT
  5. Purchase hardware, software and bulk bandwidth
  6. Set up network infrastructure
  7. Start marketing with brochures, banners and free WiFi advertising
  8. Build customers; give them quality service and support
  9. Become an Internet Service Provider in India!

OR simply contact us and we shall help you get started!

[Note: If you wish to become a ISP or WISP – we recommend you to read this article: How to become a WISP in India?]

So, you want to become an Internet service provider in India? We’ll guide you with this tutorial. We have broken this guide into 3 sections:

  1. Legal Factors – The licenses required and guidelines to comply to become an Internet service provider in India.
  2. Business Factors – A section explaining infrastructure and start-up costs, marketing and sales strategy and support channels.
  3. Technical Factors – The technologies you need become an Internet service provider – Syslog server, data servers, Broadband / WiFi Management Software and user authentication systems.



There first thing you’re going to need is an ISP license to become an Internet service provider in India. This is issued by the Department of Telecom. There are 3 types of service areas under one Unified ISP license issued by the Department of Telecom in India. These licenses are allocated on the basis of service areas:

  • Service Area – Category A: This ISP license enables you to conduct business across ANY state/city in India.
  • Service Area – Category B: This ISP license enables you to conduct business in any of the twenty Territorial Telecom Circles and the four Metro Telephone Systems of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai of the DoT.
  • Service Area – Category C: This includes any Secondary Switching Area (SSA) with their geographical boundaries defined by Depart of Telecom. The SSAs of each of the four Metro Telephone Systems of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai with their geographical boundaries defined as on 1.4.1997, however, stand excluded from Category ‘C’ as they already form a separate Category ‘B’ Service Area.

You can learn more about how to apply for an ISP License by clicking here:




Where do you plan to provide the Internet service?

Have you conducted a market survey of the existing ISPs in your area and their internet plans?

Have you considered the pricing plans you would like to offer to your end-users?

How many users do you expect to sign up for your Internet service in that area?

How do you intend to provide support to your end-users?

These are some of the questions we plan to answer in this section of how to become an Internet service provider in India.

A. Plan your business

The first thing you’re going to need is a business plan. You can get a sample business plan by clicking here. This plan will answer most of your questions on how to plan your ISP business.

B. Find your suppliers

The second thing you’re you going to need is find local suppliers of wholesale bandwidth. This requires a bit of local business intelligence. Find out who can provide you with a leased line in the area you wish to serve. There are 2 ways to procure bandwidth, either you get your own license or get an ISP franchise from an existing licensed provider.

C. Estimate your costs

Initially, since you would buy low volume of bandwidth, the cost of  bandwidth in India would be a little high at around 600 rupees/Mbps. Once you have negotiated with your local supplier to purchase wholesale bandwidth, you need to start noting all your estimated costs:

  • Cost of Room / Area to keep data servers
  • Cost of Hardware / Software
  • Cost of Monthly Bandwidth
  • Cost of Service
  • Cost of Marketing and Sales

D. Create pricing plan and monetization strategy

Once you have a basic understanding of your estimated costs, you need to start creating a pricing plan for broadband / WISP service. This pricing plan needs to be carefully thought through based on your estimated users and their demand for data.

E. Marketing Strategy

How do you plan to reach out to your customers? Many local ISPs in India use sales agents, brochures, bus depot advertisements and digital marketing (or WiFi Advertising) to reach out to their potential customers. Plan a clear marketing strategy.

F. Support Strategy

Think of a multichannel support strategy – Set up your call center, email ticket system and connect it with your billing management software etc. The key to starting a successful ISP business is having fantastic support.




The last thing and the perhaps the most important thing to consider is the technology that will power your Internet service provision company.

A. Method of Delivery

Ethernet – The first thing to consider here is method of delivery. You can lay your own leased line (fibre optic cables). This method can be slightly more expensive.

Wireless – Alternatively, you can also choose to deliver your Internet service by creating a Wireless network. (Becoming Wireless Internet Service Provider). This method of delivery has lower quality of service than the former method.

B. Source of Delivery

Whether your method of delivery is Ethernet or Wireless; you will need to bring your purchased bulk bandwidth to a centralized location before you deliver it.

This location will contain your syslog server, user-data server, and deliveries/management server. You will also need to buy a broadband or WiFi management software to create user plans, track sites as per government laws for Internet provision in India.

Links for references:

  1. Top 5 WiFi Management Software
  2. How to become a WISP in India?

Note: At Muft Internet, we help people become Internet Service Providers in India. We are an ISP consultancy firm dedicated to help aspiring, small and mid-sized Internet service providers in India overcome their technical or legal roadblocks. We have worked on several low cost ISP setups for people who want to start their own ISP business.
Plan your own ISP/WISP business, apply for an ISP license, deploy your network or buy bulk bandwidth – our expert ISP consultants are here to help you.

Learn how you can become an Internet service provider and start your own WISP/ISP business with less than ₹ 8 lacs and within 120 days.

Internet Censorship in India by Governmental Bodies & Political Groups

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Big brother’s watching you. Big brother wants to control what you see.

And no, we are not talking about the American government. This time, we speak up against the Indian government’s political censorship on the Internet.

“The OpenNet Initiative classified India as engaged in “selective” Internet filtering in the political, conflict/security, social, and Internet tools areas in 2011.”

So, what exactly makes a Government body competent to decide what information we should see and what we shouldn’t? Well, there is no clear structure. At present, any form of censorship could pass in the name of “National Security”. But most of these blocks are politically charged.

The website LiveLeak has broken many serious stories in the past during the Arab Spring and to highlight issues like police brutality in the United states.

Live Leak also has a lot of useless content that may not interest you. But that doesn’t mean the Government can choose to ban this entire site?

There needs to be systematic process in how we censor information. We can’t just have a random approach.

Remember when Ravi Shankar Prasad’s (current IT Minister) team tried to ban porn sites? Do they really believe that all the porn on the Internet is present only on 1200 odd websites? NEWSFLASH: There are millions of porn websites and it technologically impossible to block even 10% of it.

Remember when Kapil Sibal’s (ex-IT minister) team wanted to block Google and Facebook when they found out that there was offensive material against Indian National Congress? – (Impossible to prescreen Content: says Facebook and Google -) DNA India

We need to fight harder (more than ever) to protect our free Internet.

“The national security policy of the world’s biggest democracy is undermining freedom of expression and the protection of Internet users’ personal data.” – Reporters without borders

“In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that bloggers and moderators can face libel suits and even criminal prosecution for comments posted on their websites.” – Freedom House report

“I am mystified by our government’s approach both to the internet and to the millions of Indians using it. It does not adhere to the values of our republic and democracy. This matter needs to be addressed urgently, for which I propose to file a PIL in the Supreme Court. Don’t kill the freedom of speech, change the IT Rules” – Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament

“In July 2006, the Indian government ordered the blocking of 17 websites, including some hosted on the Geocities, Blogspot and Typepad domains. Initial implementation difficulties led to these domains being blocked entirely.” – Outlook India

“n an order dated 13 June 2013, the Department of Telecom (DoT) directed Indian Internet service providers (ISPs) to block 39 websites. The order didn’t specify a reason or law under which the websites were blocked.” – The Times of India

Read about how your rights are being violated here:

Digital India ‪#‎internetcensorchip‬ ‪#‎freeinternet‬ ‪#‎muftinternet‬