The Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), P.D. Vaghela said that telecom operators would face many challenges in deploying 5G infrastructure in India if ‘street furniture’ is not looked at properly. Even though 5G is still a long way to go in India, the operators and the government have started planning for it to ensure a faster and smoother rollout of the service. Vaghela stressed on the need of street furniture for the rollout of 5G in India — more details on the story ahead.
Street Furniture Important for 5G Infrastructure
According to a report from BusinessToday, Vaghela said that India's current connectivity infrastructure is not conducive for 5G at all. He said, for 5G, street furniture will play an important role.
Vaghela questioned the existing need for the telecom service providers (TSPs) to physically go to the president of the resident welfare association (RWA) and ask for permission to set up telecom infrastructure. He said that at this age where technology has taken over, this should be done online to save both time and resources of the operators.
He further said that buildings should have codes and suggested that just like there are architects and engineers for the structure of a building, there should be a telecom engineer on active constructions sites to offer advice on putting facilities and ducts. Adding to this, Vaghela said that cities and states need to be ranked in terms of how telecom friendly they are and the issue of street furniture needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.
For the unaware, the term ‘street furniture’ refers to micro-level telecom infrastructure. More precisely, this includes Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and backhaul, which is used to help the macro-level telecom towers. Through this wireless infrastructure, the range and power of connectivity improve multiple folds by being close to the users.
Vaghela pointed out the problem of misconception people have about 5G on their health. He said that people are just not ready to share their buildings for the use of street infrastructure. Small towers need to be put in every building and along with that also get adequate power supply.
In multiple cases, telecom operators will need to install generators in these buildings, but for that, the state electricity board will have to give its permission first. Thus, according to Vaghela, power is also a big factor in enabling street furniture in India.