Department of Telecom (DoT) has made changes license conditions enabling Indian mobile operators to share active infrastructure, including core networks.
The move is expected to reduce capital and operational expenditure of telecom operators like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, BSNL, MTNL and Vodafone Idea.
The amendment in license conditions enhances sharing of active infrastructure between telecom operators. At present, active infrastructure sharing was allowed to TSPs only for antenna, feeder cable, Node B and transmission systems.
“The allowing of sharing of core network elements such as MSC, HLR, IN etc. among the TSPs will reduce the cost for the TSPs and facilitate faster rollout of services. This is a very progressive step which will go a long way in enhancing digital connectivity in India,” SP Kochhar, Director General of COAI, said.
DoT has also changed commercial VSAT licence rules to enable use of satellite connectivity to provide backend connectivity for mobile networks.
The amendment in commercial VSAT licence to allow use of satellite service through VSAT terminals to provide backend connectivity for mobile networks is expected to boost rollout of networks in difficult terrain and remote areas.
The provision will help telecom companies in rolling out networks in terrains where it is difficult to lay optical fibre cable to connect mobile towers.
The amendment allows VSAT companies in India to provide “backhaul connectivity for cellular mobile services through satellite using VSAT to the access service providers.” DoT has also allowed use of VSAT services to provide connectivity in the backend for setting up wifi hotspots.