DoT To Soon Announce 5G Spectrum Bands For Auction: K Ramchand


Developments on the 5G spectrum auction are expected to gather pace as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will soon announce 5G spectrum bands vital for rolling out 5G services.

“We are in the process of consulting with other users of spectrum, the traditional users like defense, broadcasting ministry, and the department of space. With them, we have to sit together and see how spectrum in different bands can be used in a coordinated and shared way,” member (technology), DoT K Ramchand said. He was speaking at the Indian Mobile Congress.

The DoT is also in talks with the Defence Ministry, Broadcasting Ministry, and the Department of Space regarding this development.

India’s telecom sector, in the efforts of enabling policies including more quantum of the spectrum, is set to establish new benchmarks in the next-generation network deployments and service delivery.

Notably, the Defence, Broadcasting, and Space ministries are already using sub-GHz, 600Mhz, mid, and millimeter wave bands for providing services. Ramchand added that the telecom department is in consultation with these ministries to identify which services can be shifted to other bands and made available for 5G auctions.

Trai secretary SK Gupta said the telecom department was following Trai’s recommendations of holding an auction of 3300-3600Mhz bands for 5G services. He added that the DoT may conduct auctions soon.

“I hope that the auction will be done very soon. Identification of spectrum in millimeter-wave is important to roll out 5G services, we hope to get reference very soon in this regard,” Gupta said.

Originally, the DoT had identified the 3300-3600 MHz (300 MHz) frequency band for the 5G services.

However, as per the recent spectrum allocation document, the government is allocating just 175 MHz (3425 -3600 MHz) for 5G after ISRO and the Department of Space (DoS) raised concern in allowing 3400-3425 MHz portion for 5G since they need this for NaVIC application.

Telcos, on the other hand, opine that the availability of just 175 MHz for all service providers in the 3300-3600 mid-band is “grossly inadequate” and would adversely impact the 5G rollout in the country.

COAI, which represents Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea had recently urged the DoT to ensure at least 400 MHz per telco in mmWave bands (26, 28, 37 GHz) and at least 2x10MHz per operator in sub-GHz bands 600MHz and 700MHz.

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