COAI has played an active role in promoting infrastructure sharing in India. Project MOST (Mobile Operators' Shared Towers), which was aimed at promoting infrastructure sharing among all the service providers to primarily establish proof of concept of the possibility of multi-technology (GSM & CDMA) and multi operators (upto 6 operators) sharing a single tower with a view to bring down costs and enhance spread of affordable services continued to be carried out successfully by the industry. Project MOST was started at the behest of Hon'ble Minister of Communications & IT to reap the rich benefits of Infrastructure sharing in India. The prime objectives of this project are:
- To provide better coverage and quality to the subscribers.
- To avoid undue proliferation of towers by leveraging the benefits of technological innovations to improve the city skyline.
- To make Cellular Mobile Communications more affordable for the subscribers by reducing the costs for Service Providers.
- To gear up the Mobile Communication facilities for the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in New Delhi.
It is an established fact that mobile infrastructure is the most conducive medium to rapidly deliver the benefits of connectivity in developing economies. In fact mobile has been identified as the missing link for
- Improved connectivity,
- Social empowerment,
- Higher productivity,
- Increased employment opportunities,
- Higher economic growth and development,
Thus, the endeavor of Project MOST has been to facilitate ubiquitous network coverage and hence ensure faster network roll-outs and improved Quality of Service for the subscribers/customers.
Project MOST, has been focusing all efforts to convert your Vision of Shared Infrastructure into reality. Significant progress has been made after detailed project planning and the implementation is proceeding full swing in as many as 4 telecom service areas namely Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai & Karnataka. Also, in demonstration of true Public-Private Partnership, flagship shared sites with 3, 4 & 6 operator sharing respectively were setup at Delhi High Court, Rajokri and Dhansa. The same were inaugurated jointly by Hon'ble Minister of Urban Development (MoUD), and Minister of Communications and IT, on July 5, 2006. In fact, India has set a record in installing a 6 operator sharing site as this has never ever been done in the world.
Further, COAI under aegis of Project MOST has contacted various civic authorities/agencies for installation of shared towers at identified DARKSPOT areas in as many as four telecom circles. Dialogue with most of these authorities are at quite advanced stage and it is envisaged that installation of shared towers at identified Dark-Spot location will prove extremely beneficial for providing Good Quality cellular services to the subscribers in these critical areas.
Also, it is pertinent to mention that in a major break through project MOST team has got an in-principle approval from Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) for installation new sleek design telecom monopole towers in the high security LBZ area of Delhi. These monopole towers are aesthetically appealing and cellular operators have already got in-principle approvals for installation of such shared monopole towers in Chandigarh and NDMC owned premises in LBZ area of New Delhi
The coming year will see a greater implementation of infrastructure sharing amongst the service providers so as to reduce costs and make available affordable service to far flung areas of the country.