The telecom industry stakeholders have time and again said that the fiberisation of more mobile towers needs to happen to ensure that 5G sees great success in the country. There's no doubt that India would be a leading nation when the 5G rollout is concerned, as the telcos are investing as much as they can to ensure that they bring 5G to every corner of the country in the next 2 to 3 years. Currently, only 35% of the mobile towers are fiberised. The government has done its part and has made it easier for the telcos to deploy telecom infrastructure in most states of the country.
SP Kochhar, Directorate General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said, "Fiberisation being critical for the success of 5G, a lot needs to be done as only 35% of the BTS sites are presently connected to fiber networks. While the Central Government, creditably, introduced the amended Right of Way (RoW) Guidelines earlier this year, huge challenges still remain in ground-level implementation of the same at different State and local authority levels."
The Maharashtra government recently announced fresh telecom infra guidelines. These guidelines are meant to help the telcos in rolling out 5G faster and have to pay consistent charges and not get exploited by the local authorities. However, there are still states where the central RoW guidelines have not been adopted. This results in the telcos needing to pay more than necessary. COAI has said that this needs to away in order for 5G to be successful in the country.
COAI has also said that the state electricity boards need to come on the same page with the telecom companies and provide EB connections at industrial rates.
"State electricity boards need to provide EB connections to the telecom sites - both macro and micro at industrial/utility rates. Given the importance of having digital connectivity always available, especially with the advent of critical real-time applications on 5G, availability of power at reduced rates is crucial, and would aid the sector in providing 5G services to the users in the most efficient manner," said Kochhar.
According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G subscriptions in India are bound to touch 690 million by the end of 2028, which would be more than 4G connections at the time.