TRAI Advocates Both Passive and Active Infrastructure Sharing in Telecom

TRAI proposes allowing telecom service providers to share both passive and active infrastructure elements, including towers, electrical equipment, dark fiber, and duct space.

Highlights

  • Enhancing efficiency through infrastructure sharing.
  • Extending coverage in underserved areas with USOF projects.
  • Exploring ASA technique-based spectrum sharing.

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TRAI Advocates Both Passive and Active Infrastructure Sharing in Telecom
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released recommendations on Telecommunication Infrastructure Sharing, Spectrum Sharing, and Spectrum Leasing. The recommendations, released by the TRAI on Wednesday, address several critical aspects of telecom operations in India. Following the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) request for recommendations on the proposal to allow sharing of all kinds of telecom infrastructure and network elements among all categories of service providers, TRAI first issued a Consultation Paper on the topic for soliciting comments/counter comments from stakeholders on January 12, 2023.

Also Read: India Welcomes 2024, Anticipating Transformation the New Telecom Act Brings




Telecom Infrastructure Sharing

TRAI noted that the newly enacted Telecommunications Act of 2023 provides that the Central Government may permit the sharing, trading, leasing, and surrender of assigned spectrum, subject to the terms and conditions, including applicable fees or charges, as may be prescribed.

Based on the comments/counter comments received from stakeholders and on its own analysis, TRAI says it has finalized the Recommendations, including various key aspects focusing on infrastructure sharing and spectrum utilization.

Salient features of TRAI Recommendations:

Infrastructure Sharing: TRAI proposes allowing telecom service providers to share both passive and active infrastructure elements, including towers, electrical equipment, dark fiber, and duct space. This move aims to enhance efficiency and reduce costs across the industry.

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) Projects: TRAI suggests mandating the sharing of passive infrastructure laid under USOF projects with at least two other telecom service providers. This step aims to extend telecommunication coverage in underserved areas and ensure more effective use of government-funded infrastructure.

Roaming Mandate in Remote Areas: Telecom operators receiving government funding (full or partial) under USOF (or Digital Bharat Nidhi) for network infrastructure in remote areas are required to allow roaming to other operators in those areas initially for a period of three years. This measure aims to improve connectivity in remote and far-flung regions.

Inter-Band Spectrum Sharing: TRAI recommends permitting inter-band spectrum sharing among access service providers, potentially through common radio access networks. This move seeks to optimize spectrum usage and enhance service quality.

Authorized Shared Access (ASA) Technique-based Spectrum Sharing: TRAI proposes DoT to explore the implementation of ASA technique-based spectrum sharing, allowing secondary users access to spectrum assigned to government agencies or non-telecom entities. This approach could further improve spectrum utilization.

Leasing of Access Spectrum: TRAI suggests permitting the leasing of access spectrum among service providers, enabling more flexible and efficient use of spectrum resources.

Also Read: TRAI Releases Recommendations for M2M Communication With Embedded SIMs

Conclusion

These recommendations aim to promote efficient resource utilization, enhance service quality, and extend coverage to underserved areas. By allowing spectrum leasing, inter-band spectrum sharing, and infrastructure sharing, TRAI seeks to foster a more competitive and robust telecom ecosystem in India.

Reported By

From Arts and Journalism background, Yashika closely monitors developments and updates in OTT Space.

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