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IAFI seeks policy framework for industrial, enterprise 4G/5G networks

The ITU-APT Foundation of India (IAFI) has urged the Centre to announce a policy framework for allocation of dedicated spectrum for captive industrial and enterprise 4G/5G networks.

“We believe, it is extremely important for the nation to set aside spectrum and license Private 4G/5G networks along with the 5G spectrum auctions for consumers. We therefore urge the Government to urgently announce the policy framework for allocation of dedicated spectrum for captive industrial and enterprise 4G/5G networks based on globally harmonized IMT technologies in standardized 3GPP frequency bands,” IAFI president Bharat B Bhatia said in a letter to Minister of Communications and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.

Bhatia, who is also the Vice Chairman, Asia Pacific, World Wireless Research Forum (WWRF), said they welcomed the government’s recent announcements regarding a slew of telecom reforms to support and promote robust economic development of the country.

“However, we are dismayed at the recent stand taken by the Department of Telecom for opposing TRAI’s well thought out proposal for spectrum allocation and licensing of captive Industrial and enterprise 5G networks. It seems to be a case of promoting self-interest of the telecom sector, rather than promoting the overall national interest of all sectors of the economy. It is heartening to note that 5G spectrum needs of the railway enterprise have been addressed, while similar needs of manufacturing, mining, ports, utilities and automobile industries have not been considered,” he added.

The letter pointed out that it was estimated that by 2030, the business value resulting from manufacturing use cases running on improved connectivity could generate from $400 billion to $650 billions of GDP impact globally.

“That’s because the speed, latency and device density of the high-band 5G connectivity and private networks can support manufacturing automation and numerous high-impact applications. As an example, Mercedes-Benz has implemented the world’s first 5G mobile network for automobile production in its “Factory 56” in Sindelfingen in Germany as a part of an innovation project. 5G is being implemented for the first time to automate vehicle production, for which the German government has already allocated the necessary dedicated mid band spectrum,” Bhatia said. “Another example of private mobile solution can be seen at the new terminal at the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port which envisioned an automated system to handle the increased volume of goods and ships. From day one, they had a lot of issues with the Wi-Fi connectivity and a private 4G network enabled the port to continue operating the Europe’s largest automated terminal,” he added.

CT Bureau

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