The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has kicked off a pilot study at the GMR international airport in Delhi for the use of street furniture in enhancing connectivity. The regulatory body has made a working group for the study, which will have representatives from the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), GMR, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Civil Aviation, and major telecom service providers.
This study will help with gaining knowledge about how small cell deployment at the Indian airports using lamp posts, lit signage, traffic signals, and more.
Why Is TRAI Conducting a Study on Small Cell Deployment?
Small cell deployment on existing infrastructure can reduce the cost of network rollout and ownership of the network by a huge margin for the telcos. It will further enable better coverage for the consumers and help the telecom service providers in coming out with new technologies and services faster.
The benefit of this won’t just be limited to the passengers inside the airport but will also help the respective controlling airport authorities in launching new business cases for providing more efficient passenger and cargo handling services.
The use of small cells will be of grave importance when it comes to 5G. With 5G, higher-frequency bands will come into play which in turn would mean that their coverage range will be very low. Thus, with the help of these small cells, the telecom operators can extend and improve coverage at a very efficient cost and in very less time.
But there are a few challenges that need to be addressed around the deployment of small cells. Issues such as RoW (right of way) access, procedural simplification, and more need to be addressed first if India wants to go ahead with the mass deployment of small cells around the country.
Similar pilot tests are being conducted in Bangalore’s metro rail, Bhopal Smart City, and more. These pilot tests will give TRAI and the industry data about how small cell deployment should be done.