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TIP creates user group to tap into neutral host business model

Trade association created to accelerate pace of innovation in worldwide mobile and fixed telecoms industries launches new chapter looking to address need for more efficient, less costly and sustainable infrastructure

As it looks to accelerate its mission to drive a new generation of services in the mobile domain and fixed broadband, the Telecoms Infra Project (TIP) has approved the creation of a Neutral Host & Infra Sharing Project Group (Neutral Host PG) to address key challenges in the sector and harvest economic benefits inherent in shared infrastructure, which is at the heart of the neutral host business model.

Traditional neutral host companies have invested in communications infrastructure, such as mobile masts and fibre optic networks, and made them available to rent to multiple providers.

The creation of TIP’s Neutral Host PG is the result of extensive discussions with Neutral Host Operators, TowerCos and other global stakeholders in the industry ecosystem.

As part of a set of initiatives for 2024, the new TIP group will aim to ensure products meet vertical segment requirements and stay ahead of technology developments. It will explore connectivity opportunities in high-capacity environments such as airports and shopping malls.

The advancement of the neutral host business model has great potential to benefit our ecosystem with more efficient, less costly and sustainable advanced infrastructure for the long term
Brendan O’Reilly, Boldyn Networks

From a technological perspective, the group will investigate how to provide an efficient, less costly and sustainable advanced infrastructure to benefit cities, enterprises and consumers, among other stakeholders. It will also seek to extend the neutral host business model to in-building systems, urban densification, and shared active and passive infrastructure ecosystems and technology verticals.

The TIP board of directors has approved the appointment of four industry leaders as co-chairs: Brendan O’Reilly, group chief operating officer of Boldyn Networks; Kunal Bajaj, CEO of CloudExtel; Daniel Herb, chief product officer at Dense Air; and Shirish Nagaraj, chief technology officer at Corning Wireless.

Commenting on his appointment and the aims of the new group, O’Reilly said: “The advancement of the neutral host business model has great potential to benefit our ecosystem with more efficient, less costly and sustainable advanced infrastructure for the long term. This includes mobile network operator partners, cities and municipalities, enterprises, and ultimately consumers who will all be positively impacted. I am excited to take a leadership position in this PG.”

Bajaj added: “CloudExtel believes in active neutral host sharing and the benefits it offers to the mobile operators. Along with TIP, we are eager to address the challenges and explore the opportunities in high-capacity environments like airports, railways and shopping malls. We are confident that this collaboration with our neutral host stakeholders will see this business model take root and flourish in India and beyond.”

The creation of the Neutral Host PG comes just after TIP announced the graduation of the Open Automated Frequency Coordination (Open AFC) Software Project Group, following approval by US comms regulator the FCC of three operators – Broadcom, Wi-Fi Alliance Services and the Wireless Broadband Alliance – to use the Open AFC software solution.

This group was created to establish a Standard Power Wi-Fi ecosystem. Two years after its inception, the FCC has approved the group’s AFC systems, enabling US operators to provide scalable Standard Power Wi-Fi – ushering in a new era for 6GHz Wi-Fi that can operate outdoors and offer extended-range indoor connectivity.

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