(Last Updated On: January 21, 2017)

The telecom wars are getting fiercer in India with each telecom operator trying to outshine others by launching a new and attractive tariff plans every now and then, but TRAI (Telecom Regulatory of India) has something else on its mind. TRAI is now suggesting that all telecom operators should share in-building infrastructure.

TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)

To be very specific TRAI wants the telecom operators to share in-building infrastructure like antennae systems and cables (Optical Fibre or copper) in large public places, commercial complexes, and residential societies. All this has to be done in “transparent, fair and non-discriminatory manner”, said the telecom operator.

Defaulting Telcos Would Be Accordingly Dealt With

TRAI mentioned that telecom service providers (TSPs) who get into exclusive contracts with the owners of buildings in order to prohibit other telcos from entering the premises might be considered as defaulters of their license agreement with the government.

As per the mandate, a minimum of three operators and infrastructure providers should be present in the premises of any building.

This mandate would kill the exclusivity of better coverage and exclusive rights of any telecom service provider in commercial and residential complexes. This would create a level-playing field for all operators and would make more choice of tariff plans available to the customers in case of wired broadband solutions in the housing society.

“Access to building including CTI (Common Telecom Infrastructure) facilities be available to the TSPs on a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner and minimum three TSPs/IP-Is should have presence in the building,” explained TRAI.

These recommendations are made to the Department of Telecom (DoT) based on a paper floated on 6 June 2016 seeking views from industry stakeholders whether the infrastructure sharing should be made mandatory for operators in commercial and residential complexes, airports, malls, and hotels. The aim is to create an ecosystem of voice, data, and wideband multimedia in the country.

“The essential requirement for telecom installations and the associated cabling should be formed part of National Building Code of India (NBC), being amended by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS),” TRAI added in a statement

The final decision would be taken by DoT based on the suggestions. TRAI said that suitable provisions must be made for CTI (Common Telecom Infrastructure) inside the building. It also added that completion certificate to a building should be granted only after ensuring that CTI is as per the required standards.

In practice, some housing societies are difficult to activate (starting the operation of services) and not every service provider is able to do that. It usually happens that you find just one or two internet service provider in particular housing society. This would be a thing of the past soon, hopefully.

Source: ET