The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) have been working together to optimise the spectrum bands that will be used for both 5G and satellite broadband services. Spectrum is a finite resource, and thus harmony between the satcom players and the telcos must be ensured. The airwaves in the ‘C’ and ‘Ka’ bands will be very important for delivering high-speed internet for both satellites and the 5G service providers. The government and the sector have an uphill battle here where they need to decide whether the spectrum for satcom players will go through the auction route or it will be allotted to them in a different manner.
DoT Taking TRAI Consultation to Understand What to Do With Frequency Bands
According to an ET Telecom report, the telecom secretary, K Rajaram, said that spectrum is a finite resource, and thus it needs to be considered who its existing users are and who will be the new players to use it. Rajaram said that DoT is included in the consultation exercise with the TRAI.
It is worth noting that DoT is also waiting for the TRAI to come out with the recommendations for the revised price of the revised spectrum bands that will be sold to the telcos in the coming auction.
The telcos and the satcom players both have a different outlook towards spectrum usage. The telcos believe that the spectrum should be provided to every party involved through an auction. However, the satcom players believe that the spectrum in the 28 GHz band should be provided for satellite services without an auction route.
This will be a tough decision for the government. It is because the satcom players stand to lose out on a big chunk of investments if they have to purchase the spectrum through the auction. However, the telcos are not wrong in demanding a fair way of spectrum allotment for everyone involved.