TELECOMS

Telcos, Vendors, Facebook Urge Govt To Ensure Adequate 5G Spectrum

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Telecom service providers, equipment vendors and social media major Facebook have called on the government to ensure availability of abundant and continuous blocks of 5G spectrum for effective 5G rollout.

Experts have also highlighted the urgent need to allot 5G spectrum to operators on priority for 5G trials for at least one year. Facebook further urged for flexibility in licensing so that both licensed and unlicensed spectrum can be utilised by different participants.

“We need to have clarity on the amount of spectrum, it should be continuous, spectrum needs to be without any hindrance, encumbrance, there should not be any geographical restrictions of any nature,” said Head – Government & Industry Relations, Ericsson, Subrata Kumar Mitra.

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.

“What we are requesting regulators and the government is to give a minimum of 100 MHz per operator in the 3.5 GHz band, at least 400 MHz in the millimeter wave bandwidth in 26-28 GHz. And depending on the E-band sufficient amount of backhaul,” he said at a panel discussion on the 4the edition of India Mobile Congress.

“Unfortunately, smaller fragmented blocks of spectrum is not going to help. The current allocated spectrum block is very, very less and we need at least 200 MHz of continuous spectrum per operator in the mid-band for successful rollout of 5G and similarly higher quantum spectrum for other bands as well,” said EVP, Policy and Regulation, Regulatory Affairs, Reliance Jio, Vishakha Saigal.

She added that it is critical to kickstart the 5G trials at the earliest without any further delays and the government must allocate trial spectrum to the telcos across various bands on priority.

Airtel’s VP-Regulatory Affairs, Amit Kushwaha said trials are must to start building up the ecosystem and use cases which are unique to India, because that is what will determine the return on investment that can be provided by 5G.

“I think for 5G trials, the spectrum needs to be located for a full one year period and due relaxation as required in terms of import licenses and addition of OEMs or equipment or sites may be allowed by the DoT,” he said.

Facebook called for flexibility in licensing of spectrum.

“We think there’s going to need to be a balance of both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. That in fact, Wi Fi and other ultra wideband and other unlicensed technologies are going to have a big contribution to the overall 5G experience. And that it’s important for both in the home, in the office, but also on the person for wearable devices and things like that, to have these complimentary devices and services available to complement what’s happening with 5G,” Director Public Policy, Facebook , Alan Norman said.

Vodafone Idea (Vi) added that 5G dream would be incomplete without adequate fiberization of towers which is abysmally low in India .

“We have got around 30 per cent towers which are finalized in countries like us or China, it is around 80-90 per cent fiberization is there. So, the backhaul is a major issue on 5G and there is a real need for fiberizing all the towers ASAP,” said EVP, Policy and Regulation, Regulatory Affairs, Vi, Sundeep Kathuria.https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com

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