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GSMA urges India to recognize 6 GHz band for 5G services without delay

Global System for Mobile Communications has urged the Department of Telecommunications to recognise the 6 GHz band (6425-7125 MHz) for IMT or commercial mobile services in India without further delay and incorporate it into the National Frequency Allocation Plan to support 5G growth in the country.

The global telcos’ body said the step to include the 6Ghz band in the NFAP will ensure that the band is ready for assignment to support demand from the Indian operators in the 2025-30 timeframe.

“Mobile connectivity plays a crucial role in India’s ‘Bharat 6G Vision,’ and the enhanced mobile connectivity and capacity enabled by the 6 GHz band will lay the foundations for inclusive and technology-driven progress envisioned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, under the new government during 2025-30,” Jeanette Whyte, Head of Public Policy, APAC at GSMA, said in a letter to telecom secretary Neeraj Mittal.

GSMA said the decision to use the 6 GHz band for IMT/mobile purposes will positively and enduringly affect India’s aspirations of becoming a digital nation and significantly shape its technological landscape.

GSMA represents 1100 telecom companies globally, including India’s Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

In its submission to Trai, Reliance Jio said that the 6 GHz band is critically required for the growth of 5G and the introduction of 6G in the country. It urged the regulator to earmark the entire band for IMT or mobility services so that 300 MHz to 400 MHz is available to each telecom operator.

The 6 GHz band (6.425-7.125 GHz) has been identified for IMT by countries in each ITU Region – Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA), the Americas and the Asia Pacific.

As the demand for 5G grows, more spectrum will be needed to maintain the desired Quality of Service (QoS) and performance without extensive network densification. Dense networks are expensive and have higher carbon emissions.

“To address this, 6 GHz capacity will be critical to supporting the rapid growth of 5G in India and fostering innovation, affordable connectivity, and economic growth across the rest of this decade,” Whyte said.

A number of APAC countries requested to join the 6 GHz section of the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing spectrum use, in Dubai last year. These included Thailand, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, while others are also considering doing so.

“If India were to be included in this group, along with the Regions covered by the new harmonised agreements on 6 GHz throughout EMEA and the CIS, as well as Latin American countries such as Brazil and Mexico, the 6 GHz footprint would cover around 80% of the world’s population,” GSMA’s Whyte said.

In the letter dated March 26, GSMA said that long-term spectrum planning supports the achievement of these mobile-enabled benefits. By 2030, countries will require an average of 2 GHz of mid-band spectrum (frequencies in the 1-7 GHz range) per market to fulfil the ITU requirements for 5G / IMT-2020. 3 Currently, only around 500 MHz of mid-band spectrum has been assigned to operators. Additional licensed spectrum in the 6 GHz band is necessary to address this shortfall in mid-band supply.

According to WRC-23 outcomes, policymakers and national regulators should update their spectrum strategies and incorporate the 6 GHz band into their IMT spectrum roadmaps to support mobile’s future growth, GSMA said.

“The results of recent 6 GHz field trials, involving vendors, operators, academia, and chipset makers, provide further evidence on this band’s ability to provide an effective coverage and capacity layer for 5G expansion,” Whyte said. Moneycontrol

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