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TRAI starts pilot study using street furniture for telecom infra deployment

In order to expedite the availability of digital infrastructure for quick roll out of next generation networks, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has kick started a pilot study at GMR International Airport at Delhi. The pilot aims to put in place the enabling Regulatory and Policy framework for all stakeholders much ahead of actual deployment.

For overseeing the pilot and smooth coordination TRAI has formed a working group that will have representatives from all stakeholders including Ministry of Civil aviation, Department of Telecom, COAI, Major Telecom Service Providers and GMR.

The learnings from the pilot will help in enabling small cell deployment at Indian airports using existing street furniture such as traffic signals, lit signage, lamp posts, light poles, utility poles, billboards etc. Use of existing infrastructure in place of building new mounting towers will enable Telco’s to deploy it at minimal cost which will ultimately help in offering high-capacity bandwidth at competitive price.

This is supposed to immensely benefit not only customers at airports but also enable respective controlling airport authorities to launch new business cases for providing more efficient passenger and cargo handling services.

As 5G services will also be rolled out in higher frequency bands which has lower coverage penetration, it will become imperative to deploy large number of small cells to cater to coverage and capacity requirements. Accordingly small cell deployments are considered as essential elements of next generation networks.

However, there are certain challenges in small cell deployment like access to right of way, procedural simplification, provision of high capacity backhauls and availability of stable power that needs to be addressed. The study will help in understanding these issues and ironing them out through proper planning, regulatory support and cross sectoral collaborations.

The Pilot is therefore in sync with PM Gati Shakti initiative as it will help in co-creation and sharing of Infrastructure.

Similar Pilots are also being initiated by TRAI one each at a port, metro rail and smart city. For the same Kandla Port in Gujarat, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation and Bhopal Smart City have been selected as pilot locations.

CT Bureau

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