A project to unlock and sell an extra 5,500 MHz of 5G spectrum, valued at over Rs 35,000 crore, has been launched by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). This occurs not long after the government received an auction revenue record of Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
According to an ET Telecom report, officials claim that the Department of Transportation (DoT) has established an internal group to develop a plan for including 37.0-42.5 GHz as international mobile telecommunications (IMT) bands, allowing telecom businesses to utilise the spectrum. The millimetre wave band, commonly referred to as this one, can be helpful for providing 5G fixed wireless access services. After the Department of Transportation submits its proposal for the 37.0–42.5 GHz band, the issue is sent to a committee of secretaries, who will formally declare the band as IMT. The spectrum can then be sold after that.
Spectrum Base Rate May Exceed Rs 7 Crore/MHz
This means that satellite companies like OneWeb, which is sponsored by the Bharti Group, and Reliance Jio's joint venture with SES, as well as telecom operators, can purchase airwaves. According to a DoT official, satellite players and telecom carriers should coexist in the band because the spectrum has numerous uses.
The DoT would approach the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to propose the base price for the airwaves as well as other sale-related parameters after the committee of secretaries grants its approval. Experts predicted that the base cost for the 37.0-42.5 GHz bands might be in a similar ballpark, given that the sectoral regulator had suggested pan-India pricing of Rs 6.99 crore per MHz for the 24.5-28.5 GHz band for the 2022 auction. Given that DoT wants to make this band available to both satcom and telecom players, it might even be a little higher.
The spectrum in these bands is currently being used by various satellite players for their earth stations. DoT believes that since just a small portion of the band is required for earth stations, satellite and telecom providers can coexist there. In fact, a DoT official claimed that despite the fact that numerous nations, including the US, had already auctioned off these bands for 5G, India had been slow to announce them as IMT.
The 37.0-43.5 GHz range was approved as an extra band for IMT services during the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference of the International Telecommunication Union. According to experts, this spectrum can potentially be used for private networks in addition to mobile and satellite services.