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Jio Urges DoT to Expand Uses of E-band Spectrum

2023-09-14 11:53:00| Source:Rcrwireless

Jio has already deployed its 5G service in 7,543 cities across 36 states in India

Indian carrier Reliance Jio Infocomm Reliance asked the country’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to widen the scope of E-band spectrum usage to include access services along with backhaul, local newspaper The Economic Times reported.

In 2022, DoT gave the E-band spectrum to the mobile operators for backhaul use. It was allocated through an administrative process and wasn’t a part of the spectrum auction. The government had decided to award the E-band spectrum to local telcos so that they could use it for backhaul services with 5G, according to the report.

However, Jio now wants DoT to send a fresh reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) saying that E-band spectrum could also be used for access services by the telcos. E-band spectrum (71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz) can be used for offering high-speed broadband services in densely populated areas where laying fiber to the last mile is not possible.

According to the report, once the TRAI receives the reference from DoT, it will release a consultation paper on how to allocate spectrum in the band, which was assigned to operators in 2022 to speed the rollout of 5G services.

Reliance Jio Infocomm recently said it expects to complete the national rollout of 5G by the end of this year. The company noted that its 5G offering is already present in over 96% of the census towns of the Asian country.

The carrier already reached 450 million subscribers, of which 50 million have already migrated to 5G.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has been rapidly expanding its 5G network using Standalone (SA) architecture since October 2022. The telco has already deployed its 5G service in 7,543 cities across 36 states in India, according to the carrier’s website.

Reliance Jio had previously secured a mix of wireless spectrum for 5G across the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. Jio is the only Indian operator with the 700 MHz low-band spectrum.

According to recent press reports, Reliance Jio Infocomm is seeking to raise up to $2 billion in loans with French bank BNP Paribas as lead arranger of the initiative that will help fund the purchase of 5G network gear from Swedish vendor Ericsson.

Jio recently said it will make a cumulative investment of $25 billion in the 5G field, of which $11 billion was spent on acquiring 5G airwaves last year.

The telco is currently working with Nordic vendors Ericsson and Nokia for its 5G network deployments.