The telecom regulator has stuck to its guns by reiterating to the government that telcos and tower companies should be mandated to share in-building solutions (IBS) inside residential, commercial complexes and large public places such as malls, hotels and airports, to pre-empt any exclusive contracts, boost quality of indoor mobile coverage and minimize call drops.

The DoT, in a back reference, dated November 22, 2017, had asked the TRAI to reconsider its call for IBS sharing between telcos and tower firms, saying such a move could “give rise to litigations, especially since the present licensing framework does not envisage micro-managing the affairs of telcos and tower operators with landlords and right of way (RoW) providers”.

Back in January last year, TRAI had recommended that IBS infrastructure sharing be made mandatory for phone companies and tower firms in large public places and residential/commercial complexes to boost overall quality of indoor mobile coverage.

“TRAI reiterates its earlier recommendation that telecom service providers/tower operators be mandated to share in-building infrastructure to thwart the intent of any telco to maintain exclusivity of its IBS resources,” the sector regulator said Friday in response to DoT’s back-reference.

TRAI, in fact, has urged DoT to insert “a suitable clause” in the terms and conditions of a telco’s licence agreement and a tower operator’s registration certificate to bar them from entering into “any kind of agreement or contract that results in exclusive access or lessening of competition”.

The objective behind its recommendations, TRAI told DoT, is to ensure telcos and tower firms get access to buildings under fair and transparent terms to improve the deployment of high-speed telecom networks. Such a scenario, it said, “would also enable telecom players to arrest call drops inside buildings, malls and other such areas”.

In its response to DoT’s letter, TRAI said “IBS has become as vital to buildings as water or electricity” since an estimated 80 percent of present mobile traffic “originates or terminates within a building,” adding that today’s data hungry devices simply cannot be served by an outdoor network.

The sector regulator clarified that it does not envisage regulating or micro-managing agreements entered into by telcos/tower firms with building owners, but has suggested that telcos and tower firms be disallowed to enter into contracts resulting in exclusive access or reduction of competition. – Newsfeed


5g india


Read Current Edition of Communications Today