Right of Way – India’s Biggest Challenge in Mobile Backhaul

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As Indian mobile consumers are briskly moving ahead towards galloping more and more data, there are increasing challenges back on the network side and one of the biggest challenge is to efficiently backhaul this data surge.

While operators look at many ways to achieve this, ‘Right of Way’ is coming forward as one of the biggest challenge in front of the operators where they have to shell out huge sums to municipal authorities for utilizing their land.

Speaking about the need for better backhauling capabilities and the right of way challenge, Sudhir Gupta, Secretary, TRAI, said that we are moving towards 4G, LTE scenario where 30 to 120 MBPS of backhaul capability is needed however, there is big issues such as the Right of Way and a lot of effort would be required to overcome this challenge. He was speaking at a Conference organized by Broadband India Forum on Mobile Backhaul: Challenges and Opportunities in 4G Perspective.

Speaking on this issue, Ravi Gandhi, Chief Regulatory Officer (Policy), Bharti Airtel said that “In next three years, data usage will grow exponentially to about 4 lakh 80 tera bytes which is a huge growth fro what it is today. Today, we are utilizing a major portion on voice, so as we move ahead, we would need at least 1200 MHz of spectrum in the next three years to accommodate this level of growth. And the biggest roadblock towards efficient backhauling remains the right of way issue. It is really ridiculous as we are paying more for laying of the fiber, much more than its actual cost and it is affecting our network rollouts,” he added.

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