The Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF) has requested the government to refrain from auctioning the C-band (3700-4200 MHz) spectrum for 5G and 6G services. The IBDF, which represents the Indian broadcast industry, has argued that the allocation of the C-band for 5G and 6G services will disrupt the TV broadcasting sector, causing interference of terrestrial transmissions with satellite signals.
According to an ET report, in a letter addressed to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), IBDF President and Head of Disney Star K Madhavan said that the government should avoid auctioning the 3700 MHz to 4200 MHz bands to prevent the potential decimation of the cable and satellite industry and the millions of TV viewers. Madhavan has also requested a meeting with the MIB for further discussion on the matter.
Madhavan further warned that the interference generated by 5G and 6G services in the C-band will affect thousands of cable TV headends across the country, disrupting satellite signals and impacting millions of consumers, particularly those in rural areas. He emphasised that TV is the only reasonable source of entertainment, information dissemination, and education for most middle and lower-income households.
Madhavan explained that compromising the C-band spectrum being used by the broadcast industry is not feasible since the spectrum used by satellites is orbitally designated and is not owned by the government of India for auction. He added that the frequencies for each orbital location are coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and allocable by respective satellites.
Madhavan argued that the terrestrial auction of these bands will violate ITU commitments as satellite operators have been granted the right to use an orbital spectrum on a no-interference basis. He also noted that the broadcasting sector does not have exclusive access to scarce spectrum like the telecom sector.
Madhavan stated that granting frequency bands up to 3800 MHz for 5G/6G services will result in over 20 Indian and foreign satellites in India losing more than 60% of their available capacity.