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Private companies seeking direct spectrum allocation heading for a big blow

DoT is expected to announce soon that spectrum for captive private networks will need to be leased from the telcos and there will no reservation of bands of airwaves, as recommended by TRAI. This could not be confirmed with DoT or TRAI.

DoT has so far received 20 applications for direct spectrum allocation. These applications were filed in response to an exercise launched by DoT to test the demand for spectrum to set up captive private networks. Applicants include Infosys, Capgemini, GMR, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Communications, Tata Power and Tejas Networks.

Adani Data Networks, the digital connectivity solutions arm of the Adani Group, had acquired the right to use 400MHz of spectrum in the 26GHz millimetre wave band. ADNL secured this spectrum for 20 years in the first ever 5G spectrum auction conducted, in August 2022.

Tech companies had asked to be allocated spectrum directly from the government for setting up captive networks, saying enterprises should not need to depend on telcos. Telcos have vehemently opposed any direct allocation alleging that it would distort the level playing field and give technology players a backdoor entry to provide 5G services to enterprises.

According to the initial guidelines on private networks released by the DoT, enterprises that wanted to set up their own captive networks could lease spectrum from telecom operators or get it directly from DoT. They could also ask telecom operators to roll out their private networks.

The Global Private 5G Network Market is estimated at USD 1.45 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach around USD 41.80 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of roughly 49.7% between 2022 and 2030.

CT Bureau

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