The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has started a pilot project at Delhi’s international airport where street furniture like traffic signals, light poles, billboards, etc will be utilised for the deployment of telecom infrastructure, to fasten the roll-out of 5G networks.
Apart from Delhi airport, similar pilots are being initiated at Kandla port in Gujarat, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation, and Bhopal smart city.
"In order to expedite the availability of digital infrastructure for a quick roll-out of next-generation networks, TRAI has started a pilot study at GMR International Airport at Delhi," the regulator said in a statement.
The regulator explained that the purpose of the pilot is to ascertain how street furniture can be used to fasten the roll-out of telecom networks, especially 5G. Street furniture is a generic term for pieces of equipment installed and deployed along streets and roads for various purposes. The findings from the pilot will enable the formulation of a regulatory and policy framework in this regard.
"As 5G services will also be rolled out in higher frequency bands which has lower coverage penetration, it will become imperative to deploy a large number of small cells to cater to coverage and capacity requirements," TRAI said.
Accordingly, small cell deployments are considered essential elements of next-generation networks. However, there are certain challenges in small cell deployment like access to the right of way, procedural simplification, provision of high capacity backhauls, and availability of stable power that need to be addressed.
According to the regulator, 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 the co-creation and sharing of Infrastructure.