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Large traffic generators should contribute to telecom infrastructure costs: Cellular Operators Association of India

With Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio as its core members, COAI has argued that telecom companies like the aforementioned and over-the-top platforms and streaming services (large traffic generators) should split the cost of network infrastructure.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has reiterated its demand for a revenue share mechanism between telecom companies and large traffic generators (LTGs, which includes over-the-top platforms and streaming services) in its recently released white paper titled 'Addressing Rising Data Traffic and Associated Infrastructure Costs in Indian Telecom'. "With 5G, 5G+, and our aspirations for the future 6G, it is realistic to expect even more bandwidth-heavy applications and services to emerge going forward. This means investments in network infrastructure for delivering them would also soar and would be difficult for the telcos to bear alone," COAI argues. Notably, according to an Analysys Mason study from 2022, which said that even though data traffic has increased 5 times between 2018 and 2022, network maintenance costs have stayed the same. “Because of technological progress, you can still handle this increased traffic, increased data volume, just maintaining the same level of investment every year,” Professor Kyung Sin Park, the co-founder of www.opennetkorea.org told MediaNama in an exclusive interview. This tells us that telcos do indeed have enough resources to tackle the upgrade to 5G networks and even 6G networks further down the line. COAI suggests that 4 to 5 large traffic generators should shoulder some of these costs, emphasizing that startups and smaller businesses should not be asked to make similar contributions in the interest of fostering innovation and diversity in the digital space. It is worth mentioning here that while COAI is creating a distinction between LTGs and smaller businesses, internet…

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