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5G premium spectrum bands unavailability concern for SIA

The satcom industry is going to see a major boost from 2022 as new companies including Starlink, OneWeb, Project Juniper, and more step into India with satellite broadband services. The industry body, Satellite Industry Association (SIA) India has shared concerns over the unavailability of the premium 5G spectrum bands for satellite companies. For the unaware, both the telecom operators and the satcom companies will have the need of premium 5G bands which are the millimetre wavelength (mmWave) bands. The mmWave bands are spectrum in the 28 GHz frequency range.

According to an ET Telecom report, SIA India president, Subba Rao Pavuluri, wrote to the minister of communications, Ashwini Vaishnaw, asking to preserve the mmWave bands in the 28 GHz frequency for space broadband services.

Pavuluri suggested that mmWave 5G bands in the 26 GHz (24.25 – 27.5 GHz) bands should be allocated to the terrestrial network service providers while the 28 GHz band (27.5 – 29.5 GHz) be reserved for satellite broadband services.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had recently asked for the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for understanding whether the 26 GHz and 28 GHz frequency bands should be put on sale on the next spectrum auctions.

The next spectrum auctions for the 5G airwaves is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2022 (mostly February). The satellite broadband service providers also need the mmWave bands to provide seamless services to their customers.

If the 28 GHz bands are also auctioned off to the telecom operators, it will hurt the substantial investments that the satellite companies have made in India. The satellite broadband sector in India is expected to boost the country’s digital vision and will ensure that connectivity reaches every nook and corner of the country. Even the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) needs the spectrum in the 28 GHz band along with other satellite companies. Telecomtalk


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