The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is going to auction the spectrum primarily seen by the telcos as airwaves for backhaul services. We are talking about E & V bands. The e-band spectrum is airwaves between 71 – 76 GHz and 81 – 86 GHz, while the V-band spectrum is airwaves in the 60 GHz band. The E & V band spectrum are considered ideal for providing high-speed broadband services in rural India. According to a FinancialExpress report, the government is going to auction the spectrum in both the bands in the upcoming spectrum auction scheduled for July 26.
How Will the Telcos Get E-Band Spectrum?
As per the report, DoT will provisionally allocate the E-band spectrum to the telcos to help them with the 5G launch. However, later on, the telcos will have to pay for the E-band spectrum at a market-decided price.
The Digital Communications Commission (DCC), the highest decision-making body in the DoT, had earlier supported TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendation to circle-wise allocate the E-band spectrum to telcos via the administrative route depending on the need. This was recommended on the condition that the telcos would pay for these airwaves in future based on the auction-based pricing mechanism.
However, the tech companies weren’t too happy with this recommendation. The tech companies believed that if there was an administrative allocation of E-band to the telcos, it would not be right.
But the telcos have communicated with the DoT about the importance of the E-band for their backhaul services, especially when they are moving towards 5G. The data load on the backhaul is going to increase several times once 5G comes, and thus the telcos need access to the E-band spectrum.
Vodafone Idea had already conducted a trial with Nokia using the E-band spectrum in the 80 GHz band. The telco and Nokia achieved a 9.85 Gbps of backhaul capacity using the E-band.