The Indian telecom regulator has issued a consultation paper seeking opinion of stakeholders whether telecom services be given access within buildings for better service quality. Titled as ‘In-building access by Telecom Service Providers’, the paper says that the people are spending a large part of their time inside buildings. Hence, ‘it is critical to have quality telecom services inside a building, be it residential multistory building, commercial complex, hotel or airport’. The primary query raised in the paper is on sharing of such telecom infrastructure, whether it should be made mandatory.
According to the paper, the telecom service providers (TSP) would require an access inside the building to install the telecom infrastructure or lay their cables. Unlike the coverage issues dealt by the regulator in the past, there are issues related to In-building access that are still faced by the TSPs and therefore, remain to be addressed, the paper said.
Currently, the deployment inside a building is achieved through a mutual agreement between the mobile operators and the building owner or building developer or resident welfare associations (RWA). Hence, when the house owner/developer delays it in the name of negotiations or by demanding a higher rent, the opportunity of providing a seamless network inside the building becomes hindered.
The consultation, hence, seeks opinion about evolving a framework applicable to in-building facilities to enable the telecom operators to obtain efficient access on reasonable terms and conditions. The infrastructure could be of wired/wireless.
Although the wireless connectivity does not require any in-building telecom infrastructure, in case of the signals inside the building are weak, then an installation of additional equipment could help. Measures to make in-building network is important, especially to deploy high-speed data, the paper said.
According to the paper, the building owner or infrastructure provider should share their infrastructure with other TSPs to reduce infrastructure and transaction costs and help in quicker roll-out of their services.
“It is important to ensure that all TSPs are able to provide mobile and landline services to all the subscribers without any artificial restrictions or hindrance,” said the paper. The written comments are invited by July 7 and counter-comments by July 14.