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GSMA seeks minister’s intervention to identify 6 GHz band for 5G

The GSM Association (GSMA) has reached out to the Minister for Communications & IT Ashwini Vaishnaw to identify spectrum in the 6 GHz frequency range for 5G-led economic growth in India. In a letter to Vaishnaw, Jeanette Whyte, head of APAC public policy at GSMA, stated that supporting the 6 GHz band for International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT) during the upcoming APG23-6 would benefit billions of people and secure the future spectrum needs of the mobile industry in India.

GSMA, a London-based telco body representing nearly 800 telecom operators worldwide, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea in India, believes that a timely decision to support the 6 GHz band for IMT could facilitate a new phase of economic growth driven by 5G technology. Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have already started rolling out 5G services in the country, while Vodafone Idea is yet to launch their own 5G network.

Telecom service providers have been urging the government to identify the frequency range in the 6 GHz band to further expand 5G services. They argue that the 6 GHz spectrum would meet the needs for 5G expansion and its availability would drive cost-efficient network deployment.

The director general of GSMA, Mats Granryd, has emphasized the importance of the 6 GHz band for mobile operators in India. He believes that supporting it at platforms such as APG and WRC would be beneficial. Many Asian countries, including India, face a mid-band spectrum deficit, leading governments to rethink their mid-band airwaves assignments beyond those defined by the International Telecommunication Union.

GSMA states that securing more airwaves for IMT at WRC-23 could showcase India’s digital leadership and contribute to achieving the country’s digital ambitions. The availability of the 6 GHz range would drive cost-efficient network deployment, decrease the broadband usage gap, and support digital inclusion technologies.

Spectrum allocation is a key aspect of the Bharat 6G Vision, according to GSMA. The wireless planning and coordination wing of India formed a committee last year to identify the 6 GHz band for mobile services, but it has not reached a conclusive decision.

GSMA estimates that between 2025 and 2030, an average of 2 GHz of spectrum per market will be required to meet the ITU requirements for IMT-2020 in the mid-band spectrum range. TS2 Space

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