SIA Asks DoT to Separate 28 GHz Spectrum for Satellite Communications

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The Satcom Industry Association (SIA), India, has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to separate the frequencies in the 28 GHz band for satcom operations. The 28 GHz band includes bandwidth in the 27.5 GHz to 29.5 GHz range.

According to an ET Telecom report, SIA has urged DoT to create a robust regulatory framework for the 28 MHz bandwidth. This is because SIA believes 5G would hurt the satcom investments made by both the foreign and local companies.

The frequencies in the 28 MHz band will be critical for satcom companies to provide services. At the same time, Indian operators have asked DoT to open up frequencies in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz band for 5G services.

SIA Asks DoT Not to Provide 28 MHz Band for 5G

According to SIA, the investments made by satcom companies would be left impaired if the telecom department decides to avail the frequencies in the 28 MHz band to the operators for 5G. Thus, the satcom body has urged the DoT to leave the 28 MHz band alone for the satellite companies and give frequencies in the 24.25 GHz - 27.5 GHz band to the telcos for rolling out 5G.

Much recently, the operators were seen asking the telecom department for updating the National Frequency Allocation Policy (NFAP) and include additional spectrum in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands for 5G plans.

The telcos said that it would allow them to roll out next-generation connectivity technology for a much affordable cost. SIA said that since 2016, foreign direct investment (FDI) has been flowing in from the satcom companies by partnering up with local companies from the time Nirmala Sitharaman announced that India is enabling the private sector to enter the satellite and space industry.

SIA is worried if these companies don’t get the spectrum without any interruptions from 5G, it will leave their investments impaired. This would hurt not only the foreign companies but also hurt the FDI and future economic partnerships of India with other nations in the satcom sector.

The DoT is yet to release the updated NFAP policy, and this might force the department into restricting telcos from getting airwaves in the 28 MHz band. Only time will tell which way DoT’s pendulum will swing.

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