The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has expressed its happiness on the recent amendments introduced in license conditions which will now allow the telcos to actively share infrastructure with each other. This will allow the telecom operators to save high costs and also roll out services much faster. For the unaware, COAI is an industry body that represents telcos, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea. COAI said that these amendments were long-awaited, and since they are here, they will benefit the industry a lot.
At Present Telcos Were Only Allowed to Share Limited Network Elements
COAI said that at present, telcos were only allowed to share limited network elements, which included things such as feeder cable, antenna, transmissions systems, and Node B. But now, the telcos will also be able to share core network elements such as MSC, HLR, IN etc. This will be of major help to the telcos because it will reduce the cost of network rollouts and also facilitate faster rollout.
Back in April, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had amended the unified access service license (UASL) rules which widened the scope of sharing active infrastructure by the telcos. This move will result in a boost to the public Wi-Fi services and will also drive broadband penetration in the country.
The telecom sector has been getting huge help from the government recently. On September 15, 2021, the telecom industry was provided with a relief package that would now ensure the survival of Vodafone Idea in the long run.
The amendments announced now will change the game for the telcos when it comes to 5G. With sharing infra costs, telcos will be able to rollout 5G services faster and at much more feasible costs. Even with huge amounts of spectrum, if the telcos don’t invest in ground-level infrastructure, it will mean that 5G in India won’t be successful.