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Investment in Networks: Large traffic generators urged to partner with telcos – GSMA Intelligence

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In Short:

Telecom operators are urging large traffic generators to invest in networks for better content and mobile service delivery. There is a debate on cost-sharing for 5G networks between telcos and OTT players in India. Telcos are spending more on network infrastructure due to increased data consumption. Jio has seen significant growth in 5G usage. The importance of affordable spectrum availability for telcos in the future is also highlighted.

Investment by Large Traffic Generators Crucial for Network Sustainability: GSMA

Large traffic generators (LTGs) play a vital role in ensuring the seamless delivery of content and mobile services by investing in telecom networks, according to Peter Jarich, Head of GSMA Intelligence.

Jarich emphasized the need for LTGs to be efficient in utilizing networks and to invest alongside telecom operators to support the delivery of content effectively.

Pressures on OTT Players to Share 5G Network Costs

Telecom carriers globally, including in India, are urging large traffic generators, or over-the-top (OTT) players, to contribute to the costs of fifth-generation (5G) networks. This is to accommodate the surge in data consumption expected across various use cases in enterprise and consumer segments.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) highlighted that the absence of a regulatory regime for LTGs or OTT companies in India is resulting in a loss of Rs 800 crore annually to the government’s exchequer. Telco incumbents in India have reportedly spent an additional Rs 10,000 crore on network infrastructure to support data traffic from OTT players, as per COAI’s study.

Growth in Data Consumption on Next-Gen Networks

Indian telecom operators have observed a significant increase in data consumption on their next-generation networks within 1.5 years of commercial launch. Reliance Jio Infocomm’s President, Kiran Thomas, noted that 5G subscribers now contribute nearly 30% of the total mobile data traffic, with around 108 million 5G users on Jio’s network.

Importance of Spectrum Mix for Future Technologies

As India prepares for the upcoming spectrum auction and looks towards the sixth-generation (6G) era, a balanced mix of low-, mid-, and high-band airwaves will be crucial. Jarich emphasized the significance of technologies like dynamic spectrum sharing to maximize spectrum utilization by operators across multiple bands.

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