Govt Considers Freeing Up More Airwaves For Next 5G Spectrum Auction: Report

Swarajya Staff

Feb 14, 2023, 11:39 AM | Updated 11:39 AM IST

Telecom Tower
Telecom Tower

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is working to allocate additional spectrum for 5G services, which may be auctioned in the upcoming fiscal year starting on 1 April.

The DoT is considering mid-band spectrum (1 GHz to 6 GHz) as well as above 6 GHz bands, including the millimeter wave band (mmWave), particularly between 37 GHz and 42 GHz, for the next-generation services.

A DoT committee has been formed to determine the amount of spectrum that can be put up for auction, and is currently consulting with other ministries, such as broadcasting and space, to finalise the available spectrum, Economic Times reported citing officials familiar with the matter.

The 3.3 GHz to 3.8 GHz range is considered optimal for 5G services because it can carry large amounts of data over long distances.

However, some broadcasting and satellite players in India are currently utilizing 3.8 GHz, so DoT is exploring ways to shift those players to higher frequency bands to free up some of the band for 5G auctioning.

Last year, the DoT auctioned mid-band airwaves in the 3.3 GHz to 3.6 GHz range and the 26 GHz mmWave band, which was in high demand from all three major telecom providers in India - Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

The DoT's move to identify more airwave bands for telecom usage comes as the need for additional bandwidth increases with the expansion of 5G and the development of new technologies, such as 6G.

Once the DoT committee identifies the spectrum bands that can be auctioned, the matter will be presented before the committee of secretaries.

Recommendations will then be sought from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on pricing and other modalities.

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