DoT Request for 5G Airwaves to be Considered by DoS, Defence Ministry

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A few days back, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked the Department of Space (DoS) and the defence ministry to vacate the airwaves in high and medium-range frequency for the smooth rollout of 5G services. Now, as per a report from ET Telecom, an elite panel of secretaries has requested the defence ministry and DoS to consider the request put forth by DoT for vacating the airwaves. Both DoS and the defence ministry have said that they will consider the request. More on the story ahead.

DoT Wants the Airwaves in 26-28 GHz Bands and 3.3-3.6 GHz Bands

For smooth 5G services rollout, DoT wants 3000 units of premium millimetre waves in the 26-28 GHz bands and around 125 units in the 3.3-3.6 GHz bands. The DoS is said to have assured the officials that it is ready to give the airwaves to DoT in all the locations it is not already using the requested bandwidths.

The telecom operators have warned the government about the repercussions if they were not to get the requested bandwidths. The operators have said that the 5G rollout would be very costly without the access to that 26 GHz spectrum as India would not be able to tap into the global devices ecosystem. Multiple countries including USA, South Korea, China and Japan have backed super-efficient millimetre waves for 5G deployment.

At the same time, the report highlights that DoS is not keen to part with its airwaves due to its concern that it might cause interference between the 5G mobile networks and satellite. Meanwhile, the panel of secretaries have also asked the information & broadcasting and defence ministries to check if they have any 700 MHz idle bands. If so, it can also be re-assigned to DoT for 5G.

While the discussion around 5G airwaves is still going, the auction for 4G airwaves is all set to take place in early 2021. Followed by this, 5G spectrum auction might also take place in the year ahead.

However, the telecom operators are not said to be too excited about the 5G auction since the price set by the government for the spectrum is too costly.

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