DoT Open to New 5G Frequency Bands

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Telecom authorities and companies are engaging in probable spectrum bands discussions to launch the high-speed 5G internet in India by 2019

Aruna Sundararajan, telecom secretary, has informed that the department of telecommunications (DoT) is open to new 5G frequency bands to roll out high-speed internet services in the country. However, formal recommendations from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are awaited.

TRAI, in August, had suggested guidelines for 5G spectrum in the 3300-3600 MHz frequency range. Earlier, the sale of airwaves included the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands.

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An overall of 275 MHz in the 3300-3600 MHz frequency range has been proposed to be auctioned. It also suggested that an additional 25 MHz spectrum in the 3400-3425 MHz range, which is currently being used by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), should be for the 5G purpose.

Millimetre wave bands have also come into the picture after India expressed its interest on the subject at Asia’s preparatory group for World Radiocommunication Conference earlier in March. Although millimetre bands in the 24 to 41 GHz block are said to have spectrum availability, these confine the coverage areas. These are most useful for low mobility and fixed wireless access services.

Proposed bands

698-803 MHz, 3300-3600 MHz, 24.25-27.5 GHz and 27.5-29.5 GHz frequency bands have been indicated for 5G services. A range of bands have been recommended for new-age internet – 617-698 MHz, 1427-1518 MHz, 29.5-31.3 GHz and 37.0-43.5 GHz.

Experts believe that assigning new spectrum bands is one of the most critical elements to work out 5G in India. They have also said that a minimum of 100 MHz will be required to enable and deploy the new service.

5G services are set to roll out in 2019. A line of telecom services like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea and state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is engaged in launching the new tech to India.

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