5G network and funding issues discussed at Telecom Summit 2020

Innovative investment solutions are needed for financing the adoption of 5G technology that will have a multitude of applications and users, RS Sharma, chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said at Telecom Summit 2020.
Telecom Summit 2020Sharing of passive common infrastructure is an innovation of India, which China and US are now adopting and sharing of active infrastructure should also be done and the operators need to be made aware of the benefits to them, to the government and to the users.

5G technology will have applications such as machine to machine communications, Internet of Things, manufacturing to name a few, said Sharma. Factory level 5G networks may need to be installed independent of operators and this should be brought in into the policy and sale of 5G spectrum.

TRAI has recommended to the government that it must encourage manufacture of telecom equipment in India. Sharma insisted it is important to have control over the core network.

The key issue is to explore the possibilities of common infrastructure and sharing the same and how to frame policies for this so that no one is hurt, Ajit Pai, advisor, NITI Ayog, said during his speech.

Sanjay Aggarwal, senior vice president, PHD Chamber, called for allowing domestic line of credit to the fund stressed telecom operators to buy PMI compliant telecom equipment. He also urged the government to treat telecom equipment sales as deemed exports.

Sanjay Aggarwal also suggested the setting up of Telecom Financial fund to help the telecom operators, who at present struggling with AGR issues. India government should consider waiving off penalties and interests on dues of the telecoms.

Sandeep Aggarwal, chairman, Telecom Committee, PHD Chamber, noted that Rs 3.25 lakh crore is to be invested in telecommunications infrastructure by the government in the near future, which forms 3 percent of 102 lakh crore infrastructure investments planned over the next five years.

Foreign companies must be allowed access to Indian market only on the condition they sell technology and allow manufacture of licensed telecom equipment in India, Sandeep Aggarwal said.

Panelists mentioned that the right of way being the most expensive part of infrastructure, industry should come together or policy should be formed to pool ROW of all operators and infrastructure providers.

Anita Praveen, additional secretary – Telecom, Department of Communications, Ministry of Communications, Sarvesh Singh, chairman and managing director of BBNL and Alok Mukherjee, co-chairman of Telecom Committee, PHD Chamber, Bharat Bhatia, president, ITU APT India, Tilak Raj Dua, director general of TAIPA and Satya N Gupta, chairman of Bluetown India attended the summit.