India needs to boost the telecom infrastructure to roll out 5G in India successfully. The Ministry of Railways has allowed private infrastructure providers to deploy telecom towers in railway-owned properties. The Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA) has welcomed this move from the Ministry of Railways. It would also enable the users travelling by train to get a better experience. Railways 70 divisions will now also allow the installation of small cells and pole mounts in the station premises and offices.
T.R. Dua, Director-General, DIPA, said, "This was a long time demand of the telecom industry which will help in providing better telecom connectivity to the passengers and people leaving in remote areas . The move to allow licensing of railway land to private entities for the installation of telecom towers shall bring down costs and boost efficiency and telecom connectivity. Department of Telecommunications ( DoT) and National Broadband Mission Directorate have been the real backbone of the recent digital transformation in our country and further playing a pivotal role in improving the ease of doing business.”
This move from the Ministry of Railways comes after the easing of Land Licensing Fees (LLF) norms for railway land to attract private investment. Instead of the 7% revenue share that was the current norm, an annual land use charge of 1.5% of the market value of land would be enforced.