May 21, 2022

“Separate license for the access network provider”

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that a separate Unified License (UL) authorization be created for the access network provider to provide wholesale network services.

The development comes after the Ministry of Telecommunications (DoT) informed in its May 2019 letter that the 2018 National Digital Communication Policy, as part of its “Propel India” mission, plans to “reform the licensing regime. licensing and regulation to catalyze investment and innovation and promote the ease of doing business ”.

To this end, he had suggested unbundling various layers such as infrastructure, network, services and applications through differential licensing.

In its recommendations on “Allow unbundling of different layers through differential licenses,” the authority said on Thursday that under this authorization for the network layer only, the access network provider will not be allowed to provide directly from services to end customers.

“Spectrum auction offer”

He said the access network provider should also be allowed to acquire spectrum through spectrum auctions, subject to prescribed spectrum caps, to enter into a spectrum trading and spectrum sharing agreement. with other access network providers and unified licensees with access service authorization.

“He should also have access to back-haul spectrum, numbering resources and the right to interconnect.

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The current unified licensing regime will be maintained. However, if a licensee with access service authorization under UL wishes to migrate to a separate network layer and service layer regime, they should be allowed to do so, ”TRAI said.

The mission of the access network provider should be to establish and maintain an access network, including a wireless and wired access network, and to sell the network services (capable of carrying messages and voice and non-voice data) wholesale to virtual network operators (VNOs / service providers) for retail purposes. VNOs are service delivery operators, which do not own the underlying core networks, and are treated as an extension of network service operators.

The access network provider should be allowed to have the necessary capacity to support all the services mentioned under the access service authorization under the UL, he added.