The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Friday amended license norms to allow active infrastructure sharing among telecom operators, including core networks.
The DoT also amended commercial VSAT license rules to enable the use of satellite connectivity to provide backend connectivity for mobile networks.
“The Licensee may share its own active and passive infrastructure for providing other services authorized to it under any other telecom license issued by Licensor,” the DoT said in an order today.
Earlier, tower infrastructure and some active electronic components in the network were allowed to be shared among telcos.
The amendment in License Conditions to allow active infrastructure sharing, including core networks, between telecom operators, will reduce costs and facilitate faster rollout of services, said industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) in a statement today.
“We welcome the amendment in License Conditions further enhancing sharing of active infrastructure between telecom operators. It was our long-pending ask. At present, active infrastructure sharing was allowed to TSPs only for antenna, feeder cable, Node B and transmission systems,” said SP Kochhar, DG, COAI.
COAI represents Big 3 telcos Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea along with telecom equipment vendors.
“The allowing of sharing of core network elements such as MSC, HLR, IN, etc. among the TSPs will reduce the cost for the TSPs and facilitate the faster rollout of services. This is a very progressive step which will go a long way in enhancing digital connectivity in India.” Kochhar added.
Today’s amendment allows VSAT operators to provide “backhaul connectivity for cellular mobile services through satellite using VSAT to the access service providers.”
The telecom department has also allowed the use of VSAT services for providing backed connectivity for setting up WiFi hotspots.