The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently published its recommendations for the deployment of 5G small cells and aerial fibre. Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the body which represents the private telcos in India, have called the recommendations from the sector regulator a big positive. According to COAI, these recommendations will help in expediting or fast-tracking the roll-out of 5G across India. TRAI has recommended that DoT (Department of Telecommunications) should mandate an advisory to the states that the owners of the street furniture should share the assets with the TSPs (Telecom Service Providers) and Infrastructure Providers (IPs) for the deployment of small cells. This will enhance the scope for the deployment of 5G infrastructure in an expansive manner.
TRAI has also recommended that the central government entities should earmark dedicated spaces in their offices and buildings for the installation of the digital infrastructure.
COAI said, "TRAI has also recommended that charges paid by one TSP to the other for sharing of infrastructure should be allowed as deduction from Gross revenue for the purpose of levy of Licence Fee. This is a big positive which will incentivise sharing and roll-out of infrastructure.
The recommendation regarding provision of electricity connection under Utility/Industrial tariff, one application for bulk processing of connection requests for multiple sites and One-Bill One-Payment policy for the entire Telecom sector will enable all the sites to be adequately powered all the time, thus ensuring uninterrupted services to the consumers.
TRAI has also recommended the expansion of the scope of the National Broadband Mission (NBM) committee by monitoring the deployment of Small Cell on street furniture, which would provide impetus to the roll-out of 5G in the country.
Overall, the Recommendations are wide-ranging and will have a positive impact on roll-out of digital infrastructure in the country."