India’s Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) has written to the country’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT), hoping to get speedy implementation of recommendations on infrastructure sharing policy.
In fact, as Indian press reports indicate, TAIPA has been following up on recommendations issued nearly a year ago, in March 2020, when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended allowing active infrastructure sharing of telecommunications access networks under the IP-1 category. The recommendations were made by the TRAI in a report called the Enhancement of Scope of Infrastructure Providers Category-I (IP-1) Registration.
The DoT describes Infrastructure Providers Category-I as “those infrastructure providers who provide assets such as dark fibre, right of way, duct space and tower”.
Nor are the TAIPA and TRAI alone in their support for infrastructure sharing. The National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018 seems to support expansion of the scope of IP-1s to include both active infrastructure sharing and passive network sharing.
Infrastructure sharing can lead to significant cost benefits, faster time-to-market and more investments said TAIPA, referencing quite a few expert views from consultants, analysts and vendors like Ericsson.
More pertinently perhaps, TAIPA also referred to falling revenues and the operator debt issue, not to mention the heavy infrastructure investment that 5G, IoT and smart cities (to name only a few) could require.
TAIPA clearly has a number of concerns to deal with when it comes to infrastructure rollout. Late last year TAIPA (along with the GSMA) again highlighted the need to implement the country’s right of way policy to provide uninterrupted mobile services to the country’s more than 1 billion subscribers.