Trai issues discussion paper on telecom infrastructure policy

Trai has issued a consultation paper on "Issues related to Telecom Infrastructure Policy", incorporating initial comments from stakeholders.

It has asked the industry and other stakeholders to give inputs on the issues raised in the paper by January 31, and send in counter-comments on February 7."There are issues related to design, standardisation, aesthetics, pollution, safety and sharing of telecom tower infrastructure that remain to be addressed. Based on the comments received earlier, the scope of consultation paper has been enlarged to cover the entire gamut of telecom infrastructure," Trai said in a statement.

The consultations will also cover issues pertaining to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), who provide mobile phone services without owning radio spectrum, or all of the infrastructure needed to provide cellular services.

MVNOs use spectrum and infrastructure of other operators but sell services under their own brand and tariffs, catering to niche market left un-addressed by other operators.
A Unified telecom licencee, who does not possess spectrum, is allowed to work as an MVNO in any service area and should fulfil all the obligations of a licencee. It pays spectrum charges as per the slab applicable to the parent operator.

Besides these, the regulator has also sought views on infrastructure sharing, both passive and active. In view of the rapid growth of the mobile industry, sharing of towers and other passive infrastructure may save cost and ultimately benefit subscribers by way of lower tariffs.

Also, with the huge rise in the number of telecom towers across the country, Trai has sought inputs from stakeholder to reduce their proliferation and on ways to reduce radiation levels

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