Government can ignore 27.5-28.5 GHz spectrum band auction, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to prevent the coveted spectrum frequency range of 27.5-28.5 GHz from being put under the hammer, rendering the natural resource idle following the unpreparedness of space actors to broadband.

The sources revealed that the department is issuing a memo to the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) to exclude the mmWave band (27.5-28.5 GHz) from the upcoming mega auction for next-generation waves (5G) in June.

“This (non-auction) will leave the premium natural resource unused and could be a loss to the public purse despite the regulator’s recommendation to use it on a sharing basis with adequate protection,” a person close to the government told ETTelecom. case.

In addition, a senior official confirmed the decision.

In a recent ‘strong letter’ to the department, Bharti’s OneWeb-backed Indian Space Association (ISpA) ‘seeked to reject the views of the sector regulator’ and said the government should not reserve the airwaves millimeter radio to terrestrial network operators for 5G services.

The Delhi-based Satellite Communications Group or Satcom is urging the DoT not to identify the 28GHz band for next-generation services – a contentious view that pits space broadband players against telecom service providers, and goes largely against global best practice, as defined by the UN-led body.

The query to the DoT elicited no response.

Earlier this month, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recommended that the mmWave band – 24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz – be auctioned and recommended a base price of Rs 7 crore per unit.

The watchdog, however, believes that its suggestion of coexistence between terrestrial network operators and satellite service providers in the 27.5-28.5 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) band is essential for “the optimal use of the waves”.

This decision was met with opposition from space service providers.

The Indian Space Association (ISpA), in a letter to Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Secretary K Rajaraman, urged him to reject the industry regulator’s call for the coexistence of mobile satellite and 5G services in the 28 GHz band.

“International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and satellite bands can co-exist. This (co-existence) must happen for efficient use of the spectrum,” a senior Trai official told ETTelecom earlier. The regulator strongly defended its decision and said its view of the 28 GHz band would encourage buyers – both telecommunications operators and satellite communication players – and discourage the possibility that a large part of the waves from the mmWave band remains inactive.

The Trai official said that 5G operators should not be prevented from using the band (27.5 – 28.5 GHz or 28 GHz) and that the country cannot waste spectrum by allocating it only to the satellite industry whose use can be satisfied with coexistence. arrangement.

The watchdog gave sufficient protection to the satellite industry, recommending operators not to locate a base station within two kilometers of a satellite earth station gateway necessary for satellite communication services to avoid interference.

Trai’s US counterpart, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), also suggested coexistence between two groups with a protective distance between 5G and satellite ground stations.

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