More 5G spectrum sale on anvil

Telecom department to seek TRAI’s views on auction for 24.75-27.25 GHz band

December 26, 2019 10:16 pm | Updated 10:16 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Preparations have started to bring in more 5G spectrum to be put on sale towards the end of 2020, according to an official.

This comes in the wake of the Centre’s decision to conduct auctions for more than 8,300 Mhz of spectrum, including those to be used to offer 5G service, in March-April next year.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) will soon seek the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendation on the auction of spectrum in the 24.75 to 27.25 Ghz band, which is considered highly suited to 5G services deployment.

“We will soon be making a reference to TRAI for millimeter bands (24.75 GHz to 27.25 GHz)... these are 5G bands... This we plan to auction sometime late next year,” a senior Ministry official said.

The official said currently, three spectrum bands are considered good for offering 5G services, two of which — the 700 MHz and 3.4 GHz-3.6 Ghz — will be put up for sale in the upcoming auction.

The Cellular Operators Association of India has been requesting the government to seek TRAI’s views on 26 GHz band. Earlier this month, the Digital Communications Commission — the highest decision-making body in the DoT — gave its approval for TRAI’s recommendation to put 8300 MHz of airwaves across 22 circles up for sale. About 35% of this spectrum is for 5G services.

5G trials

Asked about 5G trials, the official said the DoT had received seven applications, including from players such as Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia, Huawei and ZTE.

“The DoT will be calling each one of them to discuss what their plans are and evaluate their needs and then take a call accordingly. This should be finalised in the January-March quarter,” the official added.

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