Telecom service providers (TSPs) have welcomed recommendations made by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that re-emphasise some of the industry’s long-standing demands which included improving infrastructure in the north-eastern States.
“The industry is confident that if implemented in letter and spirit, these progressive recommendations will provide further impetus to proliferation of telecom and broadband services in the North-East region of the country, thus propelling socio-economic and digital progress for the citizens,” SP Kochhar, Director General at Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said.
COAI represents major TSPs including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea.
The Authority has recommended complete exemption of Right of Way (RoW) charges in the rural, tribal and hilly regions for a duration of five years, which will encourage TSPs to invest further towards network deployments in the lesser populated regions, he added.
TRAI had last week released recommendations on ‘Improving Telecom Infrastructure in Northeastern States of India’ wherein it recommended for facilitating creation of enabling provisions in their policy to expedite accord of environmental clearance to TSPs for installing mobile towers and DG sets for tower locations.
Also, urged the State governments to provide electricity to telecom sites as a priority (within 15 days of connections request) at utility/ industrial tariff, and waiving off or subsidising last-mile installation charges for extending electricity connection to telecom sites in remote and hilly areas.
The Authority had also released a separate recommendation on ‘Promoting Networking and Telecom Equipment Manufacturing in India’ that included facilitating local value addition in participation with cross country value chains and exports from India.
It also recommended emphasis on “Telecom software” as a separate product line in accordance with contemporary softwarisation of network elements in new generation networks.
“Robust ecosystem of Indian designed telecom gear will help penetration of 4G and 5G technologies. This commitment will ensure leadership role in 6G deployments that will catapult India into a new orbit of technical superiority thus transforming India into a digitally empowered society and a strong knowledge-based economy,” Rakesh Kumar Bhatnagar, Director General at Voice of Indian Communication Technology Enterprises, said.