India is on the verge of rolling out 5G in select metro cities. But for a wider expansion and a seamless 5G network experience, it would take years for the telcos to lay out the necessary infrastructure. 5G would operate in higher frequencies, and thus a denser network infrastructure would be required. This is why telecom operators would have to use small cells on the street furniture. If you don't understand what street furniture is, it is the government-owned infrastructure such as electricity poles, traffic light poles, bus shelters, and more.
Now, according to an ET report, on the special request of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the team Gati Shakti of the logistics division of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has issued a memorandum to all states, asking them to quickly map all the electricity pole, traffic light pole, bus terminals & shelters and governmental buildings to state master plans. This will help the government and the telcos understand the street furniture they can leverage for deploying small cells.
TRAI Conducted Small Cell Test Using Street Furniture in India
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently conducted a test for small cells on street furniture with the help of the Indian telcos in multiple parts of the country. The small cells will be vital in the success of the 5G rollout of the telcos. They can be deployed on the existing infrastructure and thus is less costly than deploying an entire telecom tower for network services.
The National Broadband Mission recently said that electric poles should also be included in the data layers being mapped by states. This will help the telecom operators in deploying small cells over short distances to ensure proper coverage for the consumers. India will see 5G rollout starting in October 2022.