Airtel MD Calls For Bundling Of E-Band Airwaves With 5G Spectrum, Free Allocation Of 700 MHz BandBharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel’s Managing Director (MD) Gopal Vittal has called on the government to bundle the E-band airwaves with the 5G spectrum.

The spectrum in the E-band, falling between 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz, are considered ideal for mobile backhaul networks as these airwaves can transmit data at super speeds of around 1,000 megabit per second.

Vittal further appealed to the Centre to allocate the sub-GHz spectrum in the 700 megahertz (Mhz) band for free but with stringent roll-out obligations in the run-up to the upcoming 5G spectrum sale, reports Economic Times.

“One of the ideas I would like to propose is to actually take a particular spectrum band, let’s say 700 MHz, and allocate that with very, very stringent obligations to connect the entire country, but do it free of cost,” Vittal was quoted in the ET report as saying.

The Bharti Airtel MD added that such a move would allow telcos to make investments in capital expenditure rather than in spectrum.

Vittal stressed that ‘backhaul is absolutely essential’ for the mobile broadband infrastructure.

Backhaul has to do with connecting the core of a mobile network to nodes and then onto towers, to transmit data.

E-band spectrum can enable large amounts of backhaul from the mobile tower, to carry broadband traffic, said Vittal.

“This is spectrum that has been sitting with the government and hasn't been allocated to the players,” Vittal further spoke about the E-band spectrum.

Vittal sought ways to bundle E band airwaves with 5G spectrum so that it’s “available for use” during the upcoming 5G network build-outs by India’s top telcos.

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