New Delhi: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is understood to have ruled out mandatory sharing of infrastructure among mobile operators and has instead proposed allowing sharing of active networks like antennae, feeder, cables and transmission equipments.
In its upcoming recommendations to be announced next week, the telecom regulator has proposed that active infrastructure cannot be ruled out and it should always be looked at as an option.
Active infrastructure sharing will reduce the costs of setting up network for the operators and, at the same time, help in faster roll-outs.
“We had asked the questions whether active infrastructure sharing should be allowed or not and operators had favoured the idea in different ways,” a senior TRAI official said in the consultation paper.
TRAI said the operators might want to look at the possibility of moving beyond passive infrastructure sharing and share active infrastructure to reduce roll-out costs.
TRAI pointed out that currently infrastructure sharing is taking place mostly on a voluntary basis between the operators.
“Infrastructure sharing has not picked up the desired momentum and there is no planned approach to achieve the task,” TRAI had said in the paper.
More than 50% of the country is yet to be offered mobile services and sharing infrastructure will reduce the cost of rolling out services. Almost all the operators had opposed mandatory sharing of infrastructure and heeding that the regulator has not made infrastructure sharing mandatory.
At present, operators share passive infrastructure on a voluntary basis, which basically involves sharing of physical sites, buildings, shelters, towers, power supply and battery back-up. Herein operators share the site to host their respective base transmission terminals.
Active sharing increases dependency between service providers and exit from it becomes difficult hence globally it is not very popular. Most developed countries like the US and the UK have the MVNO regime where everything is common.