Telstra has thrown its support behind planned changes to the rules around installing ‘low impact’ telecommunications equipment, believing they could assist with its 5G and IoT network rollouts.
The changes were proposed back in June and, if approved, would help telcos raise the height of mobile towers, install new types of antennas and dishes, and deploy cabinets and cables more easily without requiring state or local planning permits.
Some of the proposed changes are designed to help NBN Co complete its network - a bone of contention for some who believe any rules should benefit the entire industry.
However, most telcos would benefit if the so-called low-impact facilities determination (LIFD) is amended, and Telstra is the latest to back the plan.
“Many of the proposed amendments will be required for the timely and efficient rollout of fixed line and wireless network infrastructure to support future 5G mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) services,” Telstra said.
“We believe these services will re-shape the Australian economy to drive significant productivity improvements and other benefits.
“So it is important that carriers are able to meet the ever-increasing demands of evolving technologies while seeking to minimise any adverse impact on visual amenity and public safety.”
Telstra, like other carriers, is presently conducting a range of tests with a view to launching a 5G network in 2019 or 2020.
It is expected that one of the characteristics of 5G networks will be a high-density configuration of small cells in urban areas.
The LIFD rules would be conducive to performing such a deployment, and could save telcos significant time, allowing them to get their networks operational faster.
Telstra also this week revealed at its Vantage conference that it had launched a large-scale IoT network.
Optus also largely agreed with the planned changes, in particular noting an interest in changes to what can be attached to heritage structures.
It argued current processes in that regard were costly and time-consuming, and that objections were sometimes made on structures with “no heritage value”.