The union cabinet, in its meeting on “Reforms and support package for Telecom Sector”, took a view on simplifying the Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocations (SACFA) clearance process for installing towers.

In continuation of the same, it has been decided that the following guidelines shall be applicable for the SACFA siting clearance for low power base transceiver station (BTSs) (EIRP <=100W) including microcells, picocells, femtocells – on existing street furniture/below the height of existing structure/ window-sills of a building etc. and for all kind of additional antenna cases :-

  • The requirement for a formal application for SACFA processing is done away with for such low power BTSs; however, the telecom service providers (TSPs) rolling out the same on the structures shall register the details such as geo-coordinates and technical parameters of such sites in the Saral Sanchar Portal, including an undertaking-inbuilt in the portal itself- to the effect that top height of the mast/antenna of such small cell shall be below the height of the existing street furniture/ building/structure.
  • Meanwhile, a SACFA registrations fee for such cases shall be charged Rs 100 per small cell. Also, for additional antenna category of SACFA siting clearance cases the fee shall be charged at the same rate (Rs 100 per additional antenna).
  • Further, acknowledgement of such registration can be downloaded by TSPs instantly.

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) further informed that the memorandum comes into force with immediate effect.

Commenting on the development, T.R.Dua, director-general, Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA), said, “We are thankful to DoT for coming up with one more game changing initiative which will promote ease of doing business in the telecom sector. With view to 5G, heavy densification of small cells will be a necessity, this step from Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, DoT is a timely right step in the right direction of deployment of 5G network rollout.”