Spectrum Fight Between Telcos and Satellite Broadband Companies Emerge

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Spectrum Fight

Spectrum is a very important resource for telecommunication and satellite connectivity companies. These companies use spectrum in varied frequencies to provide seamless services to their customers. For the unaware, spectrum is a scarce resource, and the government oversees its allocations. With 5G on the way, telecom companies want spectrum in the millimetre waves (mmWave) bands which is also sought by the satellite companies.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is expected to put 50% of the airwaves in the 28 GHz spectrum band, which will range from 27.5 GHz to 29.5 GHz for 5G services. However, the satcom industry doesn’t want this to happen.

Satellite Services Will be Hurt if DoT Gives Away 28 GHz Frequencies to Operators

As per an ET Telecom report, the satcom industry is of the view that if the telecom department decides to give away 50% of the valuable airwaves in the 28 GHz frequency band to the telcos for 5G, it will hurt the satellite services in India.

Satcom Industry Association of India (SIA-India), Director General Anil Prakash also expressed that the satellite companies will be hurt if these airwaves are suddenly taken away from them.

At the same time, the telecom service providers (TSPs) need these airwaves to roll out 5G at an affordable cost. The operators had urged the DoT to include the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands in the spectrum auction for 5G.

It is worth noting that just a few days back, SIA-India had urged the DoT to reserve the airwaves in the 28 GHz band for the satellite industry only. The satcom body had suggested the telecom department to provide the operators with the spectrum in the 26 GHz band for 5G.

SIA-India had said that if the telecom department takes away the spectrum in the 28 GHz band for 5G, it will leave a lot of investments made by local and foreign multinational companies in the satellite industry impaired.

DoT is yet to come out with the updated National Frequency Allocation Policy (NFAP), for which the whole connectivity and internet industry has been waiting for a long time. It is expected that DoT will listen to SIA-India and might only provide operators with frequencies in the 26 GHz band.

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