TRAI has released recommendations on telecom infrastructure and spectrum sharing

These proposals aim to optimise resource utilisation, foster competition, and bridge the digital divide.

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a comprehensive set of recommendations to enhance the utilisation of telecommunication infrastructure and valuable spectrum resources across India. These recommendations were made in response to a request from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to explore ways to enable the sharing of network resources among telecom operators.

Key highlights of the recommendations include:

  • Infrastructure sharing: TRAI advocates for the sharing of both passive and active infrastructure elements among telecommunication service licensees. This encompasses sharing of physical infrastructure such as towers, buildings, and fiber optic cables, as well as network equipment like switches and routers.
  • Spectrum sharing and leasing: TRAI proposes expanding spectrum sharing options, including inter-band spectrum sharing between access service providers. The recommendation also includes the leasing of access spectrum among service providers.
  • Government initiatives: TRAI suggests incorporating provisions in government-funded projects, such as those under the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), to encourage passive infrastructure sharing with multiple telecom service providers.
  • Roaming mandate: In a bid to improve connectivity in remote regions, TRAI recommends mandating telecom service providers to allow roaming in such areas for an initial period.
  • Exploration of new techniques: TRAI proposes exploring innovative approaches such as authorised shared access (ASA) technique-based spectrum sharing. This technique enables secondary access to spectrum resources assigned to government agencies or other entities.

The recommendations are currently open for public consultation and feedback, with stakeholders encouraged to provide their input before final decisions are made.