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IAFI hosts national workshop on the planning of the 6GHz band in India

As a first of its kind – flagship event, ITU-APT Foundation of India (IAFI) organized the National Workshop on planning of the 6GHz band in India on June 7, 2023 at The Lalit Hotel, New Delhi. Communications Today was the exclusive media partner.

Attended by nearly 200 guests, the event had speakers and panelists explaining various planning options for the 1200 MHz precious mid band spectrum and technical studies regarding sharing of the 5925-7125 MHz band between Wi-Fi, IMT, satellites and other telecom services. The event was very important and timely as most of the developed countries, such as USA, Japan, Korea, etc. have already delicensed the entire 1200 MHz band in order to support their innovation and industrial development. However, developing countries like India are still debating how to plan the sharing of this band between satellites, commercial cellular mobile and Wi-Fi-6e.

The event was kick started by Bharat Bhatia, President, IAFI, with a welcome address and the background presentation of IAFI, he further explained how Wi-Fi today uses two frequency bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The new Wi-Fi 6e utilizes a third band: 6GHz band. Wi-Fi6E extends the same Wi-Fi capabilities into the 6 GHz band to allow greater efficiency, higher throughput, and increased security.

As the Chief Guest of the conference, Shri V J Christopher, Wireless Advisor (WA) to the Government of India (DoT) laid emphasis on immense significance for the future of wireless connectivity in our nation and the opportunity to leverage the findings of global technical studies to chart a path towards a more robust and inclusive digital infrastructure.

Projecting on the importance of 6Ghz band Smt. Revathi Mannepalli, Joint Wireless Advisor, DoT elucidated on how studies and statistical data is important to form concrete results and look at opportunities for opening of the 6Ghz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use.

Mr. Jitendra Singh, Senior Director, Qualcomm & Vice President, IAFI during the inaugural session gave the Industry Keynote on Spectrum Characteristics stating that spectrum doesn’t have boundaries hence global harmonization is a must for the planning of the 6Ghz band.

This was followed by a technical session on the spectrum options for Future of 6GHz band in India under the moderatorship of Shri. M K Pattanaik, Sr. Deputy Wireless Advisor, (DoT).

Dr. Punit Rathod, Lead Technical Standards, Qualcomm, presented his views on the overview of 6GHz spectrum considerations and specific Coexistence Scenarios in both FSS (E -to -s) & FS (Pt -to -Pt links), followed with Dr. P K Jain, Director, INSPACe expressing his views on spectrum options for private satellite services in India, while Dr. Sendil K Devar, Director – Standardization and Spectrum, Ericsson, illuminated on the importance of WRC-23 Agenda Item 1.2 the Scope & way forward, lastly Paramjit Singh Puri, Director Membership, APAC & Europe, Wi-Fi Alliance, provided the conference with a detailed overview of the Economic benefits and Global Rollout of Wi-Fi 6e in the 6GHz band.

Dr. S C Bera Group Director, Space Applications Centre, ISRO, clarified the sharing studies between incumbent and future users of the 6GHz band, while emphasizing the Synopsis of the Department of Space (DoS) Study by going deeply into Simulation Parameters & Simulation Results along with an Interference Analysis Summary.

Dr. Guillaume Lebrun, Global Connectivity Policy Manager, META enlightened the conference with an analysis of the ITU 6GHz Sharing Studies & compatibility studies for the 6 GHz band, he explained how to deal with Clutter modelling and Possible usage restrictions for IMT.

The Second Technical session after lunch was explored and focused on the importance of Wi-Fi6e Consumer Study by Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International. This study was done to understand consumer perceptions on the 6 GHz band. The study focused on capturing current consumer concerns and challenges on the existing 2.4 and 5 GHz bands and compiling consumer expectations from new generations of Wi-Fi, through in-depth interactions.

Regarding Wi-Fi experience and expectation, it was highlighted that Wi-Fi has several use cases, including social media, online payments, general entertainment, work and education.

Although for critical use cases such as work and education, there is a need for uninterrupted, reliable and fast connectivity, there is considerable scope of improvement in the quality of experience. This study was presented by Amol Kulkarni, Director (Research), CUTS International who also quoted “With Amrit Kaal and India@100, decisions need to be taken with a futuristic view, keeping in mind its impact on innovation and consumer welfare. There is a lot of ground to cover digital divide, internet access and pull consumers out of the Wi-Fi exclusion trap. We should think not just for the previous or existing Wi-Fi consumers, but for future Wi-Fi consumers.”

This one-day event was concluded with a panel discussion which focused on Economic value delivered by Wi-Fi, the Future of 6GHz band in India, Upcoming Wi-Fi advancements, Global Harmonization, Examples of countries with already delicensed 6GHz band for Wi-Fi, since the current Wi-Fi Spectrum in 2.4 GHz and 5GHz is not adequate to meet the increased demand due to increased work from home and roll out of 5G in the country. The speaker and panelists consisted of eminent telecom stalwarts like: Steve Namaseeveyum, Vice President, Industry Engagement, WBA., Paramjit Singh Puri, Director Membership APAC & Europe, Wi-Fi Alliance, Dr. Guillaume Lebrun, Global Connectivity Policy Manager, META, Mr. Jitendra Singh, Senior Director, Qualcomm & Vice President, IAFI. Bashir Patel, Global Spectrum & Policy Regulator, GSOA, Alan Norman, Director Public Policy, META & Michael Krämer, Director of Communications Policy, EMEA, Intel.

CT Bureau

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