3GPP Radio Access Network(RAN) meeting #96 which concluded in Budapest yesterday, approved a new work item to standardize the APT 600 MHz band plan which was initially proposed by the ITU-APT Foundation of India (IAFI). This new band plan had received the approval of the APT Wireless Group (AWG) organised by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) earlier this year and thereafter sent for consideration by the RAN meeting which took place in Budapest.
The new APT 600 MHz band plan that will open an additional 40+40 MHz prime UHF spectrum. This is in addition to the 45+45 MHz in the 700 MHz band which was earlier approved by the AWG in 2013.
ITU APT Foundation of India (IAFI) with the aim to develop unified APT 600 band plan had proposed this band plan for 5G in Asia Pacific region stating that “With 600 MHz band plan being further approved, the total bandwidth available to the mobile industry in this 600-700 MHz “beach-front” like spectrum will be 140 MHz, including 80 MHz in 600 MHz band and 60 MHz in 700 MHz band. This band was also recommended by the TRAI for the 5G spectrum auctions in its recent recommendation to the DOT.
Bharat Bhatia, President IAFI, congratulating the mobile industry on the successful outcome of the RAN#96 meeting, thanked 3GPP RAN and stated that with the adoption of the new work item by the 3GPP, the band will soon become a reality. This new 600 MHz APT band is crucial to connect the unconnected in India, particularly for rural and remote areas, due to its excellent wide area coverage suitable for urban, rural and suburban areas with high inbuilding penetration.
With the approval of this WID, detailed work has begun in 3GPP for defining the detailed technical specifications of this band, which is crucial to launching the 5G services in India in this band.