The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Thursday congratulated the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for introducing the “The Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules, 2022”, along with the launch of the 5G RoW application form on the GatiShakti Sanchar Portal.
The portal provides a collaborative institutional mechanism between all stakeholders, including Central and state/UT government(s), Central land-owning authorities (Railways and Defence), local bodies, and service providers, to ease the Right of Way (RoW) applications and permissions for the deployment of the digital infrastructure – mobile towers and OFC in the country.
“We are thankful to DoT for introducing the much-awaited amendments in the RoW Rules, 2016, with so many positive factors for the telecom sector. As the country is set to witness the 5G technology, The Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules, 2022 will ensure the speedy roll-out of the technology and make the dream of 5G enabled India comes true,” COAI Director General, Lt. Gen. Dr SP Kochhar (retd) said in a statement.
“Access to the existing infrastructure, deployment of new infrastructure, and the high cost involved in it were major challenges the telecom sector always came across, which will now be eased down,” he added.
The existing Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016, had certain challenges resulting in a lack of access to adequate street furniture for deployment, and restrictions on installing towers/small cells near educational institutes, hospitals, airports, defence establishments, religious places, etc
The Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules, 2022, will help the industry’s faster proliferation of digital infrastructure, deployment of small cells, aerial fibre, and street furniture. There is a provision for small cells, electric poles, access to street furniture, etc., introduced for the easy and smooth deployment of 5G networks.
The new amendments in charges introduced, i.e., Rs 1,000 per KM for Aerial OFC, Rs 300 per annum for urban areas, and Rs 150 per annum for rural areas per street furniture and Rs 1,000 per pole for the establishment of poles for installing the small cells will be seen as a big relief.
Recently, the Indian government sold 5G spectrum worth over Rs 1.50 lakh crore, led by Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea and a unit of Adani Group.