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TRAI may reserve 25MHz of mid-band spectrum for private networks

5G is just around the corner, and the telecom operators are worried about the way the 5G spectrum will be auctioned. The use cases of 5G technology will be way more than 4G, and the airwaves/spectrum will be required by not just the terrestrial network service providers but also by the satcom service providers and the enterprises. The enterprises or non-telecom firms will require airwaves for 5G to allow machine-to-machine communications, office automation and more.

The telcos believe that whomsoever requires the airwaves should acquire it through the auction process. It is still being deliberated whether the spectrum should be administratively allocated to the non-telecom firms as well as satcom companies or whether it should be auctioned.

According to a Financial Express report, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought the views of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to understand which spectrum band should be utilised for private 5G networks. The publication remarks that TRAI might reserve 25 MHz of spectrum in the 3400 MHz – 3425 MHz band for private 5G networks across the country. This is, of course barring the five locations where the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is using the spectrum as well.

The mobile operators don’t want TRAI and DoT to give away the spectrum to the private enterprises without the auction route. A telecom industry executive told FE that a level-playing field should be maintained. If the telecom operators have to purchase the spectrum through an auction process, then the private non-telecom companies should be forced to do the same.

Further, the regulator is thinking about whether the private non-telecom companies should be given an option to purchase their spectrum directly through the DoT or the telecom operators. The TRAI is still awaited to give a final recommendation on the price of the spectrum. TelecomTalk

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