The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on "Assignment of Spectrum in E&V Bands, and Spectrum for Microwave Access (MWA) & Microwave Backbone (MWB)." The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked the sector regulator to recommend the applicable reserve price, spectrum cap, scope of services/usages, methodology of auction, payment terms, block size, band plan, and more for the E & V spectrum bands.
Note that the E band spectrum falls between 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz and the V band spectrum falls between 57-64 GHz. Because these are super high-frequency bands, they can enable super-high bandwidths. Telcos have already been using the E-band spectrum for backhaul purposes. It is more cost-efficient in cases where fiber can't reach.
DoT also asked the regulator for how much quantum of the E & V bands should be reserved for non-commercial or captive networks. TRAI has said that written statements on the issues raised in the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by October 25, 2023, and counter-comments by November 8, 2023.
It is worth noting that Reliance Jio recently asked for the E-band to be made available for commercial service purposes. While the E-band spectrum was administratively allocated to the telcos in 2022 for backhaul purposes, that should not be the case in the future believes Jio. Tech companies have suggested that E and V spectrum bands should be delicensed. But this is not something that the telcos believe in.
If the E-band spectrum is used with proper planning, then in certain areas where it is deployed, the telcos can solve capacity issues. For any highly populated area where network congestion is a daily scenario, the use of E-band spectrum by the telcos can certainly be of help. It will be interesting to see the written replies by the telcos as well as the tech players. Both look at the spectrum bands from different perspectives.