Revised 5G Spectrum Policy to Meet Demands of Telcos

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The telcos recently asked the telecom department to avail spectrum across more bands for rolling out 5G so that it doesn’t become too costly for them.

According to a report from ET Telecom, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will soon earmark all the additional spectrum bands for the 5G rollout in India. The additional spectrum will be a part of the spectrum auctions for 5G airwaves slated for the second half of 2021.

With the additional spectrum, the telcos can ensure a more affordable 5G rollout meaning the prices for the end consumer will be affordable too.

New 5G Spectrum Policy to Come in April

The telecom department is likely to reveal the new 5G spectrum policy that will include airwaves across sub-GHz bands, 1-6 GHz, and millimetre wave bands (above 6 GHz). It will become India’s new National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP).

The new NFAP will detail all the spectrum bands available for the auction and what they can be used for by different departments and service companies, including the Department of Space, Railways, defence, satellite, and more.

For the unaware, telcos had requested the DoT to update the NFAP policy and include the important millimetre waves, without which the costs of rolling out 5G would have been too high.

At present, the airwaves in the 3300-3600 GHz are earmarked by the department for the telcos to provide 5G services. DoS and the defence ministry hold the mid-band and millimetre wave 5G airwaves.

It is worth noting that the DoS had initially objected to releasing the airwaves in the 26 GHz band for providing 5G services, citing that it would cause troubles between the satellite signals and the mobile networks.

The exact dates for the 5G spectrum auctions are yet to come from the government. All the private operators in the country have expressed that their networks are 5G ready, and all they are waiting for is the auctions.

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