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Telecom majors to push DoT to release new 5G spectrum band

Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are more likely to push the federal government to revise a key spectrum coverage doc, to incorporate the brand new 5G airwave bands authorised by the International Telecom Union (ITU) for fast auctioning of the 26 Ghz millimetre waves for ultra-fast wi-fi broadband service in India.

The Big Three telcos are more likely to voice their issues to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) because the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP-2018) has not been up to date by the division’s wi-fi planning cell (WPC) greater than a 12 months after a number of new airwave bands, together with the 26 Ghz spectrum, have been recognized by the ITU for 5G deployments worldwide, together with in India.

The NFAP is a central coverage roadmap that defines future spectrum utilization by all our bodies within the nation, together with DoT, the Department of Space and the defence ministry. Telcos need it revised shortly as any additional delay might doubtlessly hinder the auctioning of the premium millimetre-wave 5G bands.

“The NFAP-2018 needs to be revised expeditiously by the WPC to align different stakeholders if a meaningful 5G auction is to happen later this year, and the industry will take up the matter with DoT,” a senior business govt instructed ET.

In November 2019, Geneva-based ITU had recognized a clutch of latest airwaves, together with the 24.25-27.5 Ghz (popularly generally known as the 26 Ghz band), 37-43.5 Ghz, 45.5-47 Ghz, 47.2-48.2 Ghz and 66-71 Ghz bands for 5G companies. Effectively, as a lot as 17.25 Ghz was authorised for 5G deployments on the World Radio Communications-2019 convention in Egypt, however none of those bands (primarily the millimetre waves) have been included in India’s NFAP.

Indications are that the telcos might talk their issues to DoT by means of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

The COAI, Airtel, Jio and Vi didn’t reply to ET’s queries until press time Sunday.

Last month, the Cabinet authorised an public sale of 4G airwaves in March 2021. The authorities has but to clear the air on the timing of India’s maiden 5G spectrum sale, however indications are that it’d occur later this 12 months.

Both telcos and DoT need the sector regulator to make sure that each millimetre waves (26 Ghz and above) in addition to mid-band spectrum (in 3.3-3.6 Ghz) are auctioned within the 5G spectrum sale.

Telcos have repeatedly maintained that unavailability of the 26 Ghz spectrum — thought of among the many most effective for 5G companies — might jolt the 5G enterprise case in India. This is since with out these airwaves, 5G deployment prices would rise a number of fold for telcos, making the ultra-fast wi-fi broadband service unaffordable. Worse, India will not be capable of leverage the 5G world units ecosystem that’s quickly growing across the 26 Ghz band, particularly with the US, China, South Korea and Japan backing 5G world deployments on this spectrum.

An apex panel of secretaries had not too long ago nudged the Department of Space (DoS) and the defence ministry to favourably think about the DoT’s request to half with all idle 5G spectrum — each within the 26 Ghz band and within the 3.3-3.6 Ghz frequencies — for business use by telecom firms. These airwaves are with DoS and the defence ministry. The Greater India

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