Broadband Forum Urges Government to Allocate 700MHz and 850MHz Spectrum for 5G

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On Thursday, the Broadband Group of India said that the government should work on allocating the spectrum of 700MHz and 850MHz for better expansion of the 5G network and better data communication. Broadband India Forum said in a statement “The government should allocate spectrum of low bands like 700 MHz and 850 MHz for better 5G coverage and higher frequencies for high data rate communication.” An Economic Times report highlighted that the telecom regulator Trai will come up with recommendations for the sale of 5G airwaves in 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands. The proposals will be submitted to the DoT, which will take the auctioning process forward.

Broadband Forum

Also, Trai has previously highlighted that the pricing of the airwaves in the 5G band remains an issue since last year the premium bands stayed unsold because of the exorbitant price of the spectrum. The soon to come up recommendations will also take into account the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands.

Highlighting the characteristics of the 700MHz band, Trai in its statement said “The 700 MHz spectrum band is a lower frequency band and has better propagation characteristics as compared with other high-frequency spectrum bands. This spectrum band is considered as premium spectrum band and is most suitable for Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.”

The Broadband forum also spoke that it would work towards drafting a Request for Proposal (RFP) by the end of August. The RFP would chalk out the spectrum needs, topological requirements and other technical requirements and roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder.

MF Farooqui, Former telecom secretary lead the Broadband India Forum (BIF). The BIF has remarked that these tests and would provide grounds to the government for drafting a right policy. Also, CS Rao, former exec at Reliance Communications and president of QuadGen Wireless Solutions will be heading the pilots for 5G testing. The ongoings will all be under the scrutiny of the 5G forum, which DoT had formed in the September of 2017 and it includes high-level officials from various backgrounds who will be leading the rollout of 5G in India.

Further, the group has proposed ‘First Response Public Safety Network’ as the first pilot case. The timeline of the project estimates that the forum seeks to finish it by the end of 2018 or by early 2019. While Nokia will lead trials for public safety, Sterlite Tech and Aeris will lead the pilots for Manufacturing and Internet of Things (IoT) respectively.

Mr T.V. Ramachandran, President of Broadband India Forum also spoke about the new developments “We’re very excited that BIF has taken a big step forward by setting the ball rolling for 5G trials with industry leaders such as Nokia, Sterlite and Aeris in the areas of public safety, IoT and manufacturing.” He further added, “We expect to form a bed-rock of commercial use cases built around 5G technology and will help accelerate the growth of our digital economy to meet the stated target of $1 trillion by 2022 as enshrined in the National Digital Communications Policy 2018.”

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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