GSMA has recommended that the Indian government also earmark L band (1427-1518 MHz) and 600 MHz band, or the part of C band in the 3.3 GHz band that has been already under the Indian regulator’s consultation process, for 5G services.
Brett Tarnutzer, head of spectrum at GSMA, said that India had committed to all three bands being allocated for 5G at the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference and should abide by it.
Tarnutzer said, “Additional spectrum bands were identified by India for mobile broadband, particularly L band (1427- 1518 MHz), part of C band (3.3 GHz band) and it supported 600 MHz band (470-698 MHz) for 5G.”
Tarnutzer said the Indian government should now commit to those bands in National Frequency Allocation Plan and prepare a roadmap for the largely unused bands, and embark on a strategy for its spectrum needs for 2020 to 2025.
The association said that 600 MHz or sub 700 MHz would support widespread coverage across urban, suburban and rural areas. This would be critical for 5G services, which otherwise would struggle to reach beyond urban centres and deeper inside buildings without this spectrum, it said.
In a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, telecom minister Manoj Sinha had in 2016 said a part of 470-698 MHz band spectrum, after coordination with the information and broadcasting ministry, would be put to use for International Mobile Telephony or IMT services, when the ecosystem evolved.
Currently, the unused TV spectrum in the 470-698 MHz frequency band is being used by state television, Doordarshan, for terrestrial TV broadcast in the country. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had in August floated a consultation paper across nine frequency bands for next round of Spectrum sales that include 5G-capable 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz. GSMA has forecast that commercial 5G networks will begin to be widely deployed by the beginning of the next decade and, by 2025, provide coverage to a third of the world’s population.