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TRAI Recommends Telecommunication Infrastructure Sharing and Spectrum Leasing

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released recommendations on ‘Telecommunication Infrastructure Sharing, Spectrum Sharing, and Spectrum Leasing’ today, marking a significant step towards enhancing efficiency and accessibility in the telecom sector.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had earlier requested TRAI to provide recommendations on allowing sharing of core network elements among telecom operators. Subsequently, TRAI took up the broader issues of spectrum sharing and leasing along with infrastructure sharing in consultation with stakeholders.

Recognizing spectrum as a key resource for public benefit, as highlighted in the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018, TRAI’s recommendations aim to liberalize the spectrum sharing, leasing, and trading regime in India. The recently enacted Telecommunications Act, 2023 provides the framework for spectrum sharing, trading, leasing, and surrender, subject to prescribed terms and conditions.

After issuing a Consultation Paper on the subject, TRAI received feedback from stakeholders, leading to the finalization of recommendations. The key features include:

Permission for telecommunication service licensees to share passive and active infrastructure elements among all types of licensees.
Inclusion of provisions mandating Universal Service Providers (USPs) to share passive infrastructure laid under future projects funded by USOF.
Exploration of authorized shared access (ASA) technique-based spectrum sharing and leasing of access spectrum among service providers.
Recommendations for mandatory roaming on mobile network infrastructure built with Government funding in remote areas.
These recommendations, available on TRAI’s website, aim to facilitate cost efficiencies, improved service quality, and wider coverage of telecommunication services. By permitting inter-band spectrum sharing and exploring innovative techniques like ASA, TRAI seeks to optimize the utilization of spectrum resources.

The implementation of these recommendations is expected to usher in a new era of collaboration and innovation in the telecom sector, ultimately benefiting consumers by enhancing connectivity and service quality. For further information or clarification, stakeholders can contact Shri Akhilesh Kumar Trivedi, Advisor (Network Spectrum & Licensing), TRAI.

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