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Key Highlights of tele.net's 12th annual conference on Telecom Infrastructure in India

April 22, 2018
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Key Highlights: Industry veterans including Amit Sharma, Executive Vice President and President, Asia, ATC; Tejinder Kalra, COO Indus Towers; and Umang Das, Special Adviser ATC India and Vice Chairman, TAIPA talked at length about evolving sector dynamics, emerging paradigms, key challenges and new opportunities for the Indian telecom infrastructure companies. Surging data demand is driving the need for setting up significant number of additional data sites, backed by high-bandwidth fibre-backhaul over the next few years. This not only calls for higher investments but has generated a need to assess new business models and technologies to adapt to the next wave of growth that will comprise greater adoption of technologies such as virtualisation, big data, M2M learning and artificial intelligence.

Tower companies, today, are moving beyond their traditional role of tower infrastructure providers and are now tapping opportunities offered by new segments such as in-building solutions, small cells and Wi-Fi, and site fiberisation. Robust ICT connectivity is central to the success of Digital India and Smart Cities programmes and towercos can play a vital role. Bharat Bhargava, Partner, TCE-Business Advisory Services, EY identifies site fiberisation, neutral host model for FTTH, hetnet deployment, active O&M as certain areas where towercos can play a bigger role in years to come.

However, lack of cooperation among government departments remains the biggest hurdle in setting up additional sites/ upgrade existing sites in urban areas. According to ATC’s Sharma, there is a need to address socio economic regulatory challenges to make Digital India and broadband on every handset a substantial reality. The industry expects some enabling provisions from the government side, particularly in areas of power availability, right of way, right to use government land parcels and space for infrastructure development, and development of street infrastructure. To this end, TAIPA is also working with several local bodies and agencies to iron out issues in on-ground implementation of infrastructure.

The industry is also looking forward to the finalisation of NTP 2018, which is likely to provide a roadmap for ushering in sustainable growth for the sector. According to TAIPA’s Das, for NTP 2018 to be relevant, it should provide a well articulated action plan for the industry.

Further, to achieve the much talked about transition to 5G, it will be imperative for operators to upgrade their network to be able to handle the massive growth in traffic and deliver content and services with low latency. As per Indus towers’ Kalra, the towercos are ready with relevant infrastructure and they will support operators in this journey.


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