Indian regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has called for tower firms to share active infrastructure such as RAN in order to reduce expenditure.
While TRAI stopped short of recommending spectrum sharing, it noted that sharing resources would see companies spending less on capex and opex.
At present, operators in India are able to share wireless equipment passively, but not actively. TRAI is keen to encourage active sharing, through which operators are able to share RAN equipment at base stations, as it enables reduced costs and quicker rollouts.
TRAI aims to foster an active sharing environment by providing operators with incentives to share both passive and active network kit. Its recommendations would let tower firms own, deploy and run the equipment associated with RANs, transmission links and wireline access networks.
While this would significantly broaden the options of tower firms, TRAI noted that the companies would still not be permitted to own or deploy core network equipment, or purchase licensed spectrum. Additionally, tower firms could be banned from allowing companies other than telecom providers to use their infrastructure.
TRAI’s recommendations follow a consultation that it opened in August last year, inviting feedback from stakeholders.