TAIPA seeks implementation of policy to usher in huge investments to telecom sector

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on April 03, 2020 Published on April 03, 2020


The Tower & Infrastructure Providers’ Association (TAIPA) has sought implementation of a policy that will bring in large investments in telecom networks, sharing of infrastructure, cost-savings and fostering competition.

In a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the association has sought implementation of ‘Enhancement of Scope of Infrastructure Providers Category-I (IP-I) Registration’ as recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The regulator had submitted the recommendations on March 13.

“These recommendations of the TRAI have come at the right time when the country requires quick investments in networks due to sudden surge in demand for 24x7 mobile and internet connectivity to the citizens due to lockdowns,” TAIPA Director-General TR Dua said in the letter.

TRAI had also suo-motu initiated a consultation process on ‘Review of Scope of Infrastructure Providers Category-I (IP-I) Registration, which was largely supported by the industry.

According to the industry, the enhancement of the scope of IPs-1 would help in active network sharing such as antenna, feeder cable, base stations, radio access network, transmission systems (microwaves and optical fibre cable).

Sharing of In-Building Solutions, Wi-Fi access points, dark fibre, leased-lined, transmission bandwidth to non-licensed service providers such as cloud service providers, Internet exchanges, data centres, or even IT/ITES companies for point-to-point connectivity.

“Telecom, being a capital-intensive business, needs huge investment for growth and expansion. IP-1s being neutral host, would offer network with quick turnaround time to service providers on non-discriminatory basis enabling TSPs (telecom service providers) to focus only on providing services and improve customer experience. IP-1s will invest and create the shared infrastructure easing out the financial burden from TSPs in an efficient way,” the letter added.

With nearly 90 per cent of employees working from home due to the cCoronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown, adoption of e-services, OTT platforms, e-commerce and e-governance among others have increased, leading to a 20-30 per cent upsurge in mobile and internet traffic.

In order to address this, telecom network capacity needs to be enhanced quickly through upgradation of existing network of telecom towers and other infrastructure, it added.

“IP-1s being neutral host, would offer network with quick turnaround time, to service providers on non-discriminatory basis enabling TSPs to focus only on providing services and improve customer experience. IP-1s will invest and create the shared infrastructure easing out the financial burden from TSPs in an efficient way,” Dua’s letter said.

Published on April 03, 2020

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