The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) might be considering skipping availing the airwaves in the 28 GHz band in the upcoming spectrum auctions for 5G. If this is true, it would be a big setback for the telecom operators who have invested heavily in their networks to make them 5G ready. 28 GHz band spectrum would be crucial airwaves for when the telcos decide to launch mmWave (millimetre wavelength) 5G services. But if the airwaves are not offered in the first place, that won’t be possible.
According to an ET Telecom report citing sources, the DoT is likely going to avoid availing the airwaves in the coveted 27.5 GHz - 28.5 GHz band in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction.
Satcom Body Against the TRAI’s Recommendations for 28 GHz Airwaves
The Indians Space Association (ISpA) recently wrote a letter to the telecom department asking to neglect the regulator’s views on the 28 GHz band spectrum. The satcom (satellite communications) body wants the airwaves in the 28 GHz band to be only reserved for satellite broadband services.
ISpA is very much against the telecom department offering the 28 GHz band to the terrestrial network service providers.
In its recommendations, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had said that for mmWave 5G services, spectrum in the 24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz band should be put under the hammer.
But due to so many conflicting stances and no ready solution in front of the telecom department, the final decision might be to avoid putting airwaves in the 27.5 GHz - 28.5 GHz in the upcoming spectrum auctions.
This would be a big blow not just to the telecom operators, but also to the government. The coveted airwaves in the mmWave band would have brought the government decent revenues had the telecom operators bid for it.
The satcom players in India just aren’t comfortable with what the TRAI has recommended and now it has become a problem for everyone.