Broadband group seeks airwaves in 700 Mhz, 850 Mhz bands for 5G coverage

Thursday, Jul 19, 2018

India’s broadband group Thursday said that the government should allocate radio waves in the 700 MHz and 850 MHz bands for better coverage of fifth-generation (5G) technology and higher frequencies for high data communication.

“The government should allocate spectrum of low bands like 700 MHz and 850 MHz for better 5G coverage and higher frequencies for high data rate communication,” Broadband India Forum (BIF) in a statement Thursday said.

Sector regulator on a reference from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is expected to come out with its recommendations for the sale of 5G airwaves in 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also consulted global experts to determine a slightly complicated issue of 5G airwaves pricing, and its soon-to-come proposal would also include spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands.

Airwaves in the 700 Mhz band that can be used for launching both 4G and 5G services, is considered to be a premium range with better proliferation characteristics.

“The 700 MHz spectrum band is a lower frequency band and has better propagation characteristics as compared with other high-frequency spectrum bands. This spectrum band is considered as premium spectrum band and is most suitable for Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology,” Trai in a statement, earlier said.

The broadband forum is also working to bring a Request for Proposal (RFP) to identify airwaves requirements and scope of trails for the deployment of the fifth-generation (5G) technology by August this year.

We will be formulating and releasing a Request for Proposal (RFP) by early August to spell the scope of 5G trials and identify spectrum needs, topological requirements and other technical requirements along roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder, Broadband India Forum (BIF) in a statement Thursday said.

Former telecom secretary MF Farooqui-headed forum also said that the outcome and feedback of these trials would be provided to the government to help fine-tune policy aspects.

The pilots would be conducted under the supervision of the government-driven 5G Forum member and president of QuadGen Wireless Solutions CS Rao who is also a former Reliance Communications (RCom) executive.

In September 2017, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) formed a high-level 5G Forum to chalk out roadmap for the rollout of 5G technology by 2020.

The government should allocate spectrum of low bands like 700 MHz, 850 MHz for better coverage and higher frequencies for high data rate communication.

Delhi-based group also proposed ‘First Response Public Safety Network’ as the initial pilot case, with a focus on ensuring public safety, and plans to complete it by end of 2018 or early 2019.

The companies identified for carrying out first set of 5G trials include Nokia for public safety, Sterlite Tech for manufacturing and Aeris for Internet of Things (IoT).

Speaking on the issue, Mr. T.V. Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum said, “We’re very excited that BIF has taken a big step forward by setting the ball rolling for 5G trials with industry leaders such as Nokia, Sterlite and Aeris in the areas of public safety, IoT and manufacturing.

“We expect to form a bed-rock of commercial use cases built around 5G technology and will help accelerate the growth of our digital economy to meet the stated target of $1 trillion by 2022 as enshrined in the National Digital Communications Policy 2018,” BIF President TV Ramachandran said.

Ramachandran is also a nominated member of the telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan-led 5G Forum.

The group has also formed a 5G Committee to oversee development in the area of low latency-centric newer technology.



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