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TRAI’s recommendations on Telecom Infra and Spectrum Management


Why is it in the news?

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released recommendations on ‘Telecommunication Infrastructure Sharing, Spectrum Sharing, and Spectrum Leasing.’
  • TRAI’s recommendations are in response to the Department of Telecommunications’ proposal to permit sharing of all types of telecom infrastructure and network elements.

 

More about the news

  • The Telecommunications Act, 2023, allows the Central Government to permit sharing, trading, leasing, and surrendering of assigned spectrum.
  • Currently, only spectrum trading and intra-band spectrum sharing are allowed in India.

 

·        Spectrum refers to radio frequencies allocated for communication across various sectors.

 

Issues

  • Issues related to sharing and leasing of spectrum: Distinctions between active (electronic) and passive (non-electronic) infrastructure sharing and ambiguities in related provisions.

 

·        Active infrastructure refers to electronic infrastructure, while passive refers to non-electronic infrastructure.

 

Recommendations

  • TRAI recommends allowing licensees to share passive infrastructure like buildings and towers.
  • Infrastructure constructed using Digital Bharat Nidhi should be mandated to allow roaming for other service providers in remote areas for three years.
  • TRAI suggests permitting spectrum leasing and inter-band spectrum sharing to utilize spectrum more efficiently.

 

Significance of recommendations

  • The recommendations aim to improve cost efficiencies and time to market for telecom companies.
  • They also aim to extend services to underserved areas and address connectivity issues faced by subscribers.

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