In the new development of events, the space broadband service providers have appealed to the government to prohibit earmarking any airwaves in the 27.5-28.5 GHz frequency range. The airwaves in the 27.5-28.5 GHz frequency range make a huge part of the coveted 28 GHz spectrum band for the 5G mobile services. The service providers have argued that the allotment of these airwaves could kill the country’s budding satellite industry. Let’s find out more.
The Current Scenario
According to a report from ET Telecom, the Indian Space Association (ISpA) has written a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary K Rajaraman. In the said letter, the association has requested him to dismiss the sector regulator’s call for the co-existence of satellite and 5G mobile services in the 28 GHz band. The letter stated that such a move is not going to be good for the space industry as a number of already launched or planned satellites make use of this crucial mmWave band or parts of it and already have licensed antennae in operation on these airwaves.
The association for space and satellite companies stated that TRAI’s move would result in an oversupply of the spectrum to the terrestrial telecom (operators) at the cost of the satellite industry and hence ISpA strongly urges DoT against identifying the 27.5-28.5 GHz band for 5G. On the other hand, TRAI has called for auctioning the mmWave spectrum in the 24.25-28.5 GHz range for 5G services and set a base price of Rs 7 crore a unit.
The industry regulator has also suggested that the 27.5-28.5 GHz range be used for both 5G mobile and satellite communications on “a co-existence basis” to ensure efficient use of such bandwidth. In response to this, ISpA has strongly appealed to DoT to protect the 28 GHz band for satellite use in India and also emphasised the need to safeguard the evolution and growth of the satellite industry before any allocation in this band.
Bharti-backed OneWeb, Tata Group company Nelco, and US-based Hughes Network Systems are some of the prominent members of the ISpA. ISpA is going head-to-head with telecom industry leader Reliance Jio which has been pushing Trai to make the entire 28 GHz spectrum band available for 5G services.