DoT eases network sharing rules, plans new requirements for handsets

16 Feb 2016

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has made an amendment to the Unified Licence to allow sharing of active infrastructure with immediate effect. Previously, operators were only allowed to share passive infrastructure, but the new changes are expected to help providers lower rollout costs and facilitate faster deployments. Under the new regulations, sharing of active infrastructure between network operators will be based on mutual agreements, and is limited to ‘antenna, feeder cable, Node B, Radio Access Network (RAN) and transmission system only.’

In a related development, the Economic Times cites a DoT official as saying that the ministry is planning to introduce new rules within the next three to four months which will ensure that all mobile handsets sold in India support at least one local language. The new regulations are part of the Digital India initiative and are intended to guarantee access to telecom services to non-English speaking citizens. ‘Three months down the line, there will be a regulation that will make every mobile phone sold in India mandatory to have English, Hindi and one regional language,’ the official explained, adding: ‘Broadband cannot be limited to English-speaking middle and upper class Indians and it needs to go down to rural areas.’

India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT)