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Indian Telcos Seek 6 GHz Band for 5G Services: Report

2023-01-04 15:00:00| Source:RCRWireless

In India, the 6 GHz band is partly used by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) for satellite operations

Indian operators Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea  asked the government to identify and release 6 GHz spectrum band for the provision of 5G services, The Economic Times reported.

The request was made through a letter sent by industry association GSMA.

“6 GHz band will be the only and key mid-band spectrum for 5G expansion to cater to the increasing demand from consumers and enterprises,” Jeanette Whyte, head of public policy for the APAC region at GSMA said.

“With its ability to offer high-capacity, city-wide 5G, mid-band spectrum like 6 GHz plays a core role in delivering 5G networks all over the world and with them enduring economic growth,” Whyte added.

In India, the 6 GHz band is partly used by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) for satellite operations, according to the report.

In the letter, the GSMA noted that the Indian government should support the 6GHz frequency band for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) identification, at regional and international platforms such as the APG and WRC-23.

Last month, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)’ wireless planning and coordination (WPC) wing formed a committee with a representation from the industry, to analyze a strategy for identifying the 6 GHz band for mobile services.

Earlier this month, the DoT said it will seek recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to conduct a new 5G spectrum auction in the upcoming financial year, according to local press reports.

DoT will make consultations around spectrum pricing, quantity of spectrum to be auctioned as well as the introduction of new spectrum bands.

“Currently, a committee at DoT is deliberating over opening new spectrum bands. Once the committee completes its discussions, Trai’s recommendations will be sought,” a government source said, adding that the auction will also include 4G spectrum and unsold 5G spectrum.

The government will also consult telecom operators and seek their views on the timing of the next auction, the source added. According to industry sources cited in the report, the government is currently analyzing whether and how to award new spectrum bands in the range of 3.7-4.2 GHz and 4.7-4.8 GHz.

The much-awaited 5G spectrum auction in India concluded on August 1 and according to the country’s telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, local carriers purchased a total $19 billion worth of spectrum.

Reliance Jio walked away with the most spectrum, having spent $11 billion. Airtel won spectrum worth $5.4 billion, while Vodafone received spectrum worth $2.4 billion. Finally, Adani purchased spectrum worth approximately $27 million, which it will use to offer private 5G network services.

Indian telcos Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel have recently started to gradually deploy 5G across India.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea is currently in talks with several venders for the supply of 5G gear. The telco is also seeking to obtain financial resources for the launch of 5G services.

Indian state-owned telecom operator BSNL could launch 5G services by August of next year, according to recent press reports.