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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

TRAI promotes passive and active infrastructure sharing in telecom industry

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In Short:

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released recommendations on Telecom Infrastructure Sharing, Spectrum Sharing, and Spectrum Leasing. The proposals aim to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and extend coverage to underserved areas. TRAI suggests permitting infrastructure sharing, mandating sharing of USOF projects, and implementing roaming mandates in remote areas. The recommendations also include inter-band spectrum sharing and leasing of access spectrum to improve resource utilization and service quality in the telecom industry.


TRAI Advocates Both Passive and Active Infrastructure Sharing in Telecom
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued recommendations on Telecommunication Infrastructure Sharing, Spectrum Sharing, and Spectrum Leasing. The recommendations were released on Wednesday and aim to address crucial aspects of telecom operations in India. This initiative followed a request from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for recommendations on allowing the sharing of telecom infrastructure and network elements among different service providers. TRAI had first issued a Consultation Paper on this topic on January 12, 2023, to gather feedback from stakeholders.

Telecom Infrastructure Sharing

TRAI highlighted that the Telecommunications Act of 2023 empowers the Central Government to permit the sharing, trading, leasing, and surrender of assigned spectrum, subject to specified terms and conditions.

After receiving feedback from stakeholders and conducting its analysis, TRAI has finalized the Recommendations, focusing on infrastructure sharing and spectrum utilization.

Key Aspects of TRAI Recommendations:

Infrastructure Sharing: TRAI suggests allowing telecom service providers to share passive and active infrastructure like towers, electrical equipment, dark fiber, and duct space. The goal is to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) Projects: TRAI proposes mandatory sharing of passive infrastructure from USOF projects with at least two other telecom service providers to extend coverage in underserved areas.

Roaming Mandate in Remote Areas: Telecom operators are required to allow roaming in areas where they have received government funding for network infrastructure under USOF or Digital Bharat Nidhi for a period of three years to improve connectivity.

Inter-Band Spectrum Sharing: TRAI recommends allowing inter-band spectrum sharing among access service providers through common radio access networks to optimize spectrum usage.

Authorized Shared Access (ASA) Technique-based Spectrum Sharing: TRAI suggests exploring ASA technique-based spectrum sharing to improve spectrum utilization.

Leasing of Access Spectrum: TRAI proposes permitting the leasing of access spectrum among service providers for flexible use of spectrum resources.

Conclusion

These recommendations by TRAI are aimed at promoting efficient resource utilization, improving service quality, and enhancing coverage in underserved areas. By allowing spectrum leasing, inter-band spectrum sharing, and infrastructure sharing, TRAI aims to create a more competitive telecom ecosystem in India.


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