The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has reportedly amended the unified access service licence (UASL) rules, thus widening the scope of active infrastructure sharing. The move is aimed at giving a boost to public Wi-Fi services and drive broadband penetration.

Under the amended rules, active infrastructure sharing related to Wi-Fi equipment such as Wi-Fi routers, access points and the sharing of backhaul has been allowed.

Up until now, active infrastructure-sharing between licensed service providers was limited to antennae, feeder cables, Node Bs, radio access network (RAN) and transmission systems.

Four years ago, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended the DoT to amend licence rules to pave the way for active-infrastructure sharing for public Wi-Fi services.

TRAI had urged the DoT to issue a clarification that sharing of Wi-Fi equipment infrastructure such as Wi-Fi routers, access points and backhaul be allowed as this would help deliver public Wi-Fi optimally. Further, this would enable telcos to reduce both their capex and opex spends by sharing the relevant Wi-Fi infrastructure.