The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended that telecom infrastructure be considered as general infrastructure and make tax benefits available to the sector. “In view of the growing importance of the telecom infrastructure in the development of the country, the need for creating a conducive environment for the development of the infrastructure in the country cannot be overemphasised,” Trai said in its Telecommunications Infrastructure Policy recommendations.

“Therefore, the authority has recommended that telecom infrastructure should be treated as an essential infrastructure,” it said.

The regulator has recommended bringing telecom infra companies (Infrastructure Provider-1) under Unified Licences, a suggestion which was opposed by participants at roundtable conference held by the telecom ministry in early March.

On the issue of telecom infrastructure providers facing a number of problems with the local civic authorities, Trai has recommended that DoT should fix a time limit of 45 days for grant of permission by the local authorities.

The Trai also recommended introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) in the proposed unified licencing regime.

“A unified licensee who does not possess spectrum should be allowed to work as an MVNO in any licensed service area. The unified licensee ceases to be an MVNO if it is allocated spectrum for accessing the subscribers,” it said.

The regulator also recommended that there should be no restriction on the number of MVNOs attached to a mobile network operator and has said that an MVNO cannot be attached to more than one network operator in the same service area.

The regulator in its recommendation has mandated deployment of Distributed Antennae System in 63 Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission cities within 18 months after completion of optical fibre network in these cities under the National Broadband Plan.

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