Why National Telecom Policy – 2018 can take 5G to next level in India

AT&T trials AirGig technology in Georgia
TRAI today announced objectives for National Telecom Policy 2018 and strategies to achieve new milestones including 5G, IoT and phone manufacturing.

The objectives and strategies prepared by TRAI Chairman and his team will have far-reaching impact on the business of telecom operators and telecom equipment makers in India. The consultation floated today aims at covering the gap in India’s National Telecom Policy 2012, 2004, 1999 and 1994.

$100 bn investment target

First, NTP 2018 aims to leapfrog India amongst top-50 nations in rankings in terms of network readiness, communications systems and services. India wants to attract an investment of $100 billion in telecommunication sector. India wants to attain average speed of 20 Mbps for wireless and 50 Mbps for wireline internet connectivity.

By recognizing communication systems and services as essential connectivity infrastructure for development of India

By making available finance for communication infrastructure projects (iways) at par with other connectivity infrastructure sectors like Roadways, Railways, Waterways, Airways etc

Review of license fee, USOF levy, and SUC keeping in view importance of communication infrastructure in socio-economic development

By restructuring of legal, licensing and regulatory frameworks for reaping the benefits of convergence

With the separation of network and service layers, by separating licenses/ permissions for rollout of networks, and provisioning of services

By working towards One Nation – One License for services

By easing grant of licenses/ permissions processes for spectrum, wireless apparatus, and SACFA clearance to improve efficiency, innovation, and research

Review of license and regulatory compliance costs on licensees keeping in view the international practices

By allowing broadcast services using cellular mobile networks

Integrated regulation of ICT and broadcasting sector led by economic and social policy goals of the country

Restructuring of TRAI as converged regulator for ICT and Broadcasting sector

Review of SATCOM policy for communication services keeping in view the international developments, and social & economic needs of the country

By engaging with the State Governments and Local Bodies for faster rollout of communication infrastructure

For ensuring non-discriminatory time bound RoW permissions – a nation-wide common portal for application and approval

By developing a network readiness index for States/ UTs to address RoW challenges

By mapping telecom infrastructure assets like OFC cables, common service ducts and towers on NIC’s National GIS Platform

By making provisions for establishment of common service ducts for underground telecom infrastructure in the Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016

By reviewing the objectives of spectrum management to maximise socioeconomic gains

By monitoring efficient utilization of spectrum by conducting regular audit of the spectrum allocated to both commercial as well as government organizations

By declaring roadmap for availability and auction of spectrum in different bands in ensuing period

By ensuring adequate availability of contiguous, broader and globally harmonised spectrum

By earmarking unlicensed frequency bands periodically for operation of low power devices for public use

By reduce entry barriers to promote R&D, innovation, and Startups in the sector

By developing digitally skilled human resources in the country

By establishing NTIPRIT as an apex institute for policy practitioners, industry, researchers, academicians

By strengthening consumer grievance redressal mechanisms through awareness & protection

By establishing office of telecom ombudsman and centralized web based compliant redressal system

By increasing international coordination

100% rural tele-density

NTP 2018 aims to increase rural tele-density to 100 percent and to provide data connectivity of at least 1 Gbps speed to all the Gram Panchayats.

By developing institutional capacity to improve focus on execution of Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) schemes for equitable development

By promoting sharing of telecom infrastructure among telecom service providers

By incentivizing the telecom service providers for faster roll-out of services in remote and rural areas

By facilitating sub-marine cable connectivity to the inhabited islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands

By promoting use of satellites to provide telephony and broadband services in remote and inaccessible areas through rationalization satellite transponder and spectrum charges; and making available additional transponders, and new spectrum bands (such as Ka band) for satellite-based commercial communication services.

10 million public Wi-Fi hotspots

NTP 2018 aims to enable access for wireline broadband services to 50 percent households in the country. NTP 2018 aims to enable access for high-quality wireless broadband services at affordable prices to 90 percent population. NTP 2018 aims to develop 10 million public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country; and to achieve 900 million broadband connections at a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps, out of that at-least 150 million broadband connections at a minimum download speed of 20 Mbps.

By adopting a National Broadband Plan (NBP) for enabling access to at least 90 percent household using wireline, wireless, and satellite resources optimally

By facilitating development of Open Access Networks to improve access and affordability of communication services

By promoting sharing of telecom infrastructure amongst telecom service providers

By upgradation of cable TV networks for delivery of converged broadcast and broadband services

By incentivizing fixed-line broadband services

By devising enabling provisions for sustainable development of public Wi-Fi hotspots

By facilitating content delivery networks for improved quality of experience

IoT and 5G

NTP 2018 aims to enable access for connecting to 10 billion IoT/ M2M sensors/ devices.

By prescribing licensing and regulatory framework for IoT/ M2M service providers

By earmarking of suitable licensed and unlicensed spectrum for IoT/ M2M services

By creating appropriate institutions for coordinated development of 5G services, IoT/ M2M systems, and their security framework

By working with sector specific industry councils for preparing roadmap for transformation of each sector to Industry 4.0

Data market

NTP 2018 aims to establish India as a global hub for data communication systems and services.

By prescribing licensing and regulatory framework for cloud service providers

By declaring data privacy, protection, and security laws

By prescribing policy for cross-border data transfer

By enacting net-neutrality laws

By incentivizing setting up of International Data Centers (IDCs) in India

Internationally comparable bandwidth capacity and costs for businesses to encourage Data Centre localization in India

By facilitating establishment of interconnect exchanges for data services

By expeditious availability of land, electricity, and security for data centers

Human capital for data analytics and product development

NTP 2018 aims to become net positive in international trade of telecommunication systems and services.

By facilitating set-up of ‘Special Technology Zones (STZs)’ for experimental products to invite product and technology innovation and development in India

By allocation of spectrum for demonstration and experimental purpose on expeditious basis

By establishing Telecom Research and Development Center for identification, customization, and development of digital products and services in the country to substitute imports

By facilitating development of required infrastructure for research and development, incubation centres, standardization, testing, and certification of digital communication systems, products and services

By earmarking 40 percent of incremental USOF for financing R&D, Innovation, and development of communication systems and services as per indigenous needs

By providing financial incentives for the development of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) in the field of telecommunication services and systems

By encouraging partnership between industry and academia for development of human capital

By incentivising local manufacturing of network equipment and devices

By becoming global hub for remote management of telecommunication networks

By coordinating with EXIM Bank and Telecom Export Promotion Council (TEPC) to facilitate international trade of telecommunication systems and services

By making TEC and TSDSI responsible for development and enforcement of standards for telecom products and services; (l) By developing own test labs and certification infrastructure

By upgrading the manufacturing PSUs under DoT to actively exploit their strategic and operational synergies

Baburajan K