Telecom companies team up to seek reservation of airwaves for 5G


Representatives of leading mobile phones and broadband services providers will join hands and are all set to approach a key inter-ministerial panel to convince Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to reserve efficient sub-1GHz spectrum in the 614-698 MHz (Megahertz) frequency band for commercial 5G services.

The three top telecom groups — Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), London-based GSMA and Broadband India Forum (BIF) — will come together to back reservation of airwaves in the 614-698 MHz frequency band for super-fast 5G mobile broadband networks. The meeting for discussions is scheduled for next month by ITU in the United States, where senior telecom officials will participate to articulate India’s position on the preferred 5G spectrum bands to the next spectrum sale where 5G airwaves are proposed to be auctioned.

ITU deals in spectrum management issues globally and it is a multinational collective effort to suggest new telecom technologies and standards between governments and private companies. In case ITU decides to back India’s proposal, device makers are expected to go for mass production of 5G phones that will function on the cost-efficient 614-698 MHz band.

Currently, these airwaves are with the global broadcaster Doordarshan, the principal holder of such TV broadcasting spectrum in the 470-698 MHz range.

In view of that, the three telecom lobby bodies are expected to refer to the telecom regulator’s January 2017 recommendations on DTB (digital terrestrial broadcasting), where it said, “DTB should be limited and this important spectrum resource should not be kept blocked (for broadcasters alone) but must be used efficiently for international mobile telecommunications (IMT)”.

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Himani Sharma, From ITvoir News Desk