Indian telecom operators are eagerly waiting to capitalise on 5G technology and offer 5G services to their subscribers. To ensure affordable services and cost-efficient network, telecom operators have urged Department of telecommunications (DoT) to include the 26GHz spectrum band in the 5G spectrum auction. As reported by ET telecom, all the telcos have urged the telecom regulator to suggest a price for the 26GHz spectrum band which will be used to roll out cost-efficient networks. SP Kochar, who is the director-general of COAI, stated that 5G would dilute significantly if mmWave bands like 26GHz will not be rolled out for the 5G spectrum auction and allotted to different government agencies.
5G Auction has been Pushed Until Next Year
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already pushed the 5G spectrum auction until next year. The major reason behind the postponement was the geopolitical tensions between India and China. The government already barred Chinese telecom gear makers from supplying equipment to state-owned telco BSNL and MTNL. Also, the participation of Chinese telecom gear maker ZTE and Huawei in 5G spectrum auction is unclear. DoT has just reserved 3.3-3.6 GHz for 5G. However, 3.5GHz airwaves, as mentioned by SP Kochar, will have limited capacity and cannot support the full rollout of 5G services.
DoT is Sceptical About 26GHz Spectrum Bands for 5G Auction
Telecom operators have been asking to include 26GHz spectrum band in the 5G auction. However, Dot is not sure whether 26GHz will be available for 5G trials. As per a draft report by DoT panel last year, the telecom regulator was planning to offer 400 units of 26GHz spectrum and 100 units of 3.5Ghz for 5G network trials.
Reliance Jio has Asked for 800Mhz in 26GHz and 24GHz Bands
Reliance Jio is aggressively working towards 5G trials to bring the services soon in India. Along with other telcos, Reliance Jio fears that India could lose out leveraging global devices ecosystem which is developing around the 26GHz spectrum band. Reliance Jio has penned a letter to DoT and has asked to allocate 800MHz in the 26GHz and 24GHz spectrum bands and 100MHz in 3.5GHz for field trials using self-developed 5G technology in Mumbai and Delhi.