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Jio seeks TRAI’s nod for flexible use of satellite spectrum

Jio Satellite Communications has written to telecom regulator TRAI to allow flexible use of spectrum for satellite and mobile phone services networks.

The company in a letter dated September 5 to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman PD Vaghela said technology is evolving that will enable convergence of satellite and terrestrial networks and therefore the regulator should consider flexible use of radio frequency for terrestrial and satellite services.

In the letter, Jio Satellite cited the decision of the New Zealand government to allow flexible use of high frequencies in the 24-30 Ghz band.

“This suggestion for flexible use of spectrum is based upon the latest changes in technology and standards which have allowed the creation of integrated and converged networks. We reiterate the 3GPP specifications in its Release-17 have already enabled the convergence of satellite and terrestrial network,” Jio Satellite said.

Jio has already submitted its comments in response to TRAI’s consultation paper on “Assignment of Spectrum for Space based communications Services”. The consultation paper for comments closed on June 1.

Jio has been advocating allocation of spectrum for satellite services through auction only while satellite services companies have unanimously demanded allocation of radio frequencies through administrative methodology.

Satellite companies have argued that they use spectrum on a shared basis based on orbital positions. Jio has backed its argument with the opinion of two retired judges of the Supreme Court who had suggested that auction was the only mode for allocation of spectrum meant for commercial purpose. Jio had sought opinion of the judges based on an SC judgement in the 2G spectrum case.

Jio Satellite said New Zealand’s Cabinet Economic Development Committee has decided to allocate spectrum in the 24-30 Ghz band for satellite and mobile services.

“…the New Zealand government has recognised the need for flexible use of spectrum in the wake of imminent technological convergence in telecommunication networks under integrated satellite and terrestrial networks,” the company said.

As per present practice, countries earmark spectrum frequencies for a particular set of services based on decisions taken by UN body International Telecommunication Union.

Some sets of spectrum are earmarked for use of a particular set of services and some are for mixed use. Satellite companies have demanded that the frequency range between 27.5-31 Ghz be allocated exclusively for satellite communication services. PTI

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