TRAI needs key information before pricing premium 5G spectrum
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was asked by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to recommend prices for the 5G spectrum bands as well as fresh pricing for 4G spectrum bands. But the sector regulator can’t recommend a base price for the mmWave 5G spectrum right away. To do that, TRAI needs to know the quantum of the mmWave 5G band spectrum that will be available in the auction. Only DoT can help the regulator in this area. So until DoT tells TRAI about the quantum of mmWave spectrum band available for the auction, the regulator can’t move ahead.
mmWave 5G bands not yet included in the NFAP
One of the key concerns for the TRAI is that the mmWave 5G spectrum bands haven’t been included in the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) yet. Because of this, the regulator can’t even understand the scope of the concerned airwaves. It is very much in the dark about how both the satellite companies and mobile telecom operators can use the mmWave 5G bands.
The satellite broadband players want the government to reserve the spectrum in the 28 GHz band for the satcom industry only. As per industry experts, the stakes with the 28 GHz spectrum band are very high because all the satcom companies, including the Bharti, owned OneWeb, Musk owned Starlink, Amazon Project Juniper, Viasat, Hughes, and more, would need the spectrum in the 28 GHz band without any interferences to provide quality satellite broadband services.
The mobile telecom operators, on the other hand, have said that access to the 28 GHz spectrum band is very important to deliver the true potential of 5G. The government is yet to decide on what will happen with the mmWave 5G bands and just what quantum of the spectrum will be available for the telcos and the satcom players during the auction. Based on this information, TRAI will set a base price for the 26 GHz/28 GHz spectrum bands. TelecomTalk
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