DoT Plans to Clear Some Satellite Spectrum for 5G and 6G: Report

The Telecommunication Department (DoT) wants to accommodate more spectrum 5G and 6G usage in the coming years. In that direction, the Ministry of Telecommunications plans to free up and auction the mid-band spectrum currently used by broadcasters for 5G and 6G networks over the next three years.

Also check: India Spectrum Holding Timeline 2023

Leaving midband spectrum for 5G and 6G

The mid-band spectrum worth more than Rs 1 Lakh crore of broadcast, satellite users will be shifted from 3670-4000 MHz band to 4000-4200 MHz band, according to a report by ET Telecom. Currently, Indian telcos use C-Band (3300-3500MHz – n78) for 5G services. This band is considered a critical band for the delivery of 5G services due to the capacity and coverage it offers and the ecosystem that has developed around it worldwide.

“In the future, telcos will need more frequency in the midband once 5G gains traction and later for 6G. Many countries, including the US, have already allocated spectrum up to 4200 MHz for 5G. We will see how much more spectrum can be made available for 5G/6G,” ET quoted an official aware of the matter as saying.

Mid-band ecosystem for 5G

According to GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association), Spectrum in the range from 3300MHz to 3800MHz is particularly demanding for 5G, as many countries around the world have already designated it for the technology, and the ecosystem is also rapidly developing, including equipment and handsets .

“The existing users of satellite TV reception can be accommodated in the 4000-4200 MHz band, and the rest of the spectrum in that band can be used for 5G and later 6G,” ET quoted another official on the was aware of the details.

US C-Band Transition

Earlier in March, SES launched SES-18 and SES-19, the fourth and fifth, and final satellites, as part of SES’s C-Band transition plan to fulfill the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) program to free up C-band spectrum. enable telecom operators to efficiently use the spectrum for 5G services in the US.

Read also: SES launches final satellites as part of C-Band Transition Plan

DoT recently rejected recommendations from TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to reserve 40MHz of spectrum in the 3700-3800MHz band for closed private networks, given the critical nature of the band and spectrum for 5G services. In addition, allocation to closed private networks means limiting the ability to use spectrum for an open and wider range of use cases intended for commercial use.

According to the report, the DoT’s Wireless Planning Coordination (WPC) division is working to free up the midband spectrum and identify more bands for use by international mobile telecommunications (IMT).

Read also: Bharti Airtel ready with 5G FWA in next 6 months

mmWave (millimeter wave spectrum)

In India, the 26 GHz millimeter wave band is also used for 5G services, especially Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services. Bharti Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Idea and Adani have acquired 26 GHz spectrum in the 2022 spectrum auction, while reserving the spectrum for use by BSNL. DoT wants the airwaves in the mmWave band to be allocated through auction, as the department has decided not to reserve spectrum in the band (28.5 – 29.5 GHz) for private networks or satellite players.