The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has shared its hard stance on the private 5G networks in India. The industry body, which represents the private telcos in the country, said that there’s no “justification” for offering spectrum directly to the enterprises for private 5G. COAI said that licensed access service providers are fully capable of delivering all the customised solutions, including M2M / Industrial 4.0 services, in the most economical and competitive manner. Thus, there’s no need to alienate the spectrum directly for the companies for captive private networks.
COAI Said Private 5G Will Truncate Revenues of the Government
The industry body said that if the airwaves are directly allocated to the private enterprises, that will result in a loss of revenues to the government as well as the licensed access service providers. In addition to that, it would also create a non-level playing field for the telecom service providers.
But when the telcos are only given access to the licensed spectrum for offering private 5G network services, it would help with generating revenues both for the operators as well as the government. COAI said, “it is respectfully submitted that the requirement of industry verticals can be best met through operator-led private networks.”
Further, COAI said that if the enterprises are getting direct access to airwaves for setting up private networks, they won’t have to follow through with the requirements of the “law enforcement agencies”. Telcos have to do this, and thus the anti-social elements that are included in the private networks of the enterprises could mean that bypassing and intercepting messages can be done, which would be detrimental to the national security.
COAI also said that since spectrum is a finite resource, it should be auctioned through a transparent process, and thus there should be no scope for enterprises to get airwaves through an administrative manner.
COAI has urged the government not to reserve or de-license any spectrum which has been identified as useful for providing IMT/commercial services for private captive networks.