Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the state-run telecom operator in India, has asked the government for more spectrum to roll out 5G. The government has already reserved 5G spectrum for the telco; however, it wants more frequencies for the 5G rollout. Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Telecom, said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that BSNL is seeking more 5G airwaves than what has been already reserved for it. The minister said that the state-run telco also wants spectrum in the 700 MHz band. Right now, only Reliance Jio has 10 MHz of PAN-India spectrum in the 700 MHz band.
How Much Spectrum is Already Reserved for BSNL for 5G?
According to a PTI report, the government has already reserved over 10 MHz of paired spectrum in the 600 MHz band, 40 MHz in the 3300 MHz band, and 400 MHz in the 26 GHz band. However, BSNL doesn't feel it is sufficient for the 5G rollout and hence, has asked for more airwaves. This reserved spectrum for BSNL is supposed to be deployed by the telco to provide PAN-India 5G services.
How Much Spectrum Does BSNL Want More for 5G?
Chauhan said that BSNL has requested for 10 MHz of paired spectrum in the 700 MHz band despite having 10 MHz in the 600 MHz band. Along with this, the telco has asked for 30 MHz of additional spectrum in the 3300 MHz band and 400 MHz in the 26 GHz band. So the telco is almost asking the government to double the reserved spectrum for 5G rollout.
BSNL is still in the process of rolling out 4G, and since the telco will go with 5G non-standalone (NSA) deployment most likely, it is interesting to see that it is worried about rolling out 5G before 4G has been rolled out properly. The report mentions that Chauhan has asked Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to offer equipment to BSNL for 5G testing so that the telco can start trials for 5G.