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Fiberization and densification of towers important to increase internet reach: COAI

While India boasts of offering data to people at one of the cheapest averages in the world, the country is far from achieving the government’s vision of a truly digital nation. This is not just because of the unavailability of low-cost smartphones but also because, for being an excellent digital nation, the internet must first reach every home and person in the country.

Lt. General, Dr SP Kochhar, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), told TelecomTalk that for the internet to reach everywhere, there’s a need for fiberisation along with the densification of mobile towers.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data, in the month of November, the overall tele-density in India was 86.90% (wireless and wireline included). The Indian government and the telcos are working together to break the digital divide that exists in the country, and for the same, the center had launched the “National Broadband Mission”.

However, making the internet rich everywhere in the country isn’t enough. It also needs to be affordable.

Fiberization and more mobile towers a real need in India
Fiberization is a real need in India. The same was echoed by P Balaji, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea, during the India Mobile Congress 2021.

Balaji had said that efforts need to be made to fiberise 85% of the mobile towers in the next 24 months in India. Currently, only 35% of the mobile towers are fiberized in the country.

With 5G, the need for additional capacity and better backhaul support would be required, which fiber can help a ton with. The densification of mobile towers would further mean that there is better coverage for the users, which will also be required with 5G.

The telecom operators would need to incur more costs to lay fiber and deploy mobile towers for which the states and union governments must align their right of way (RoW) policy with the Indian Telegraphy RoW Rules 2016. Windobi

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