Jio, Vodafone, Airtel. Idea to force DoT to get base prices for mmWave bands from TRAI for 5G Auctions

India’s Big three telcoms have called Telegomy Secretary Anshu Prakash to ask the sector regulator to launch a fresh consultation, with suggestions concerning their quantum and reserve rates for the forthcoming 5G sales, including the prized millimeter-wave bands – 26GHz, 28GHz, and 37GHz.

“In a letter dated 15 March to Pr Kochhar, Director General of the Cell Operators of Indian Association (COAI), we suggest that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT, for its initial referral to India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (Trai) for the purposes of allocating, and including millimeters wavelength bands (mmWave) for auctioning along with other 5G bands such as 3,5 GHz,” The COAI reflects the letters from Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi).

Kochhar added that, after “strong effort and encouragement from DoT” these bands were globally listed for 5G in the Internationale Telecom Union (ITU) in November 2019, the industry group has already highlighted the relevance of 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands as prime airwaves for the deliaching of 5G services in India.

The letter from the COAI to Prakash calls for a millimeter-wave range to be reserved by governmental 5G commercial providers in consultation with Trai, only a month after the parliamentary panel chaired by Congress member Mr. Shashi Tharoor.

The DoT also remains to set a clear schedule for sales of India’s 5G maiden. But telcos would like to allot at least 400 units per operator of a millimeter-wave spectrum, saying it is necessary to provide reliable 5G services in India.

Although the telcos want to force the Trai scheme to allocate all mid-band and millimeter waves to spectrum systems (in a range of 3.3 to 3.6 GHz).

Bharti Airtel said “India must accept the allocation of 5G bands for mmWelle and make them part of the auction with the 3,4-3,6 GHz bands” in recent consultations with the panels led by Tharoor.

Telcos also warned of India’s 5G business case being hit by an unavailability of the spectrum of 26 GHz and 28 GHz – one of the most effective for 5G. Because 5G rollout costs will saw many years, without such airwaves the ultra-fast mobile wireless coverage would be cheap.

A senior executive from the sector, who has recently participated in meetings with DoT on the possibility of 5G airwave bands, said telcos and telecomputing equipment manufacturers want the government and Trai to change the “new inverted spectrum policy system,” which buys raw matter at the highest price but requires services for mass traction at minimal prices.

The Department of Space and Defense has millimeter-wave as well as 5G mid-band airwaves. Recently, an apex panel of Secretaries advised DoT to separate it from any unused 5G spectrum for commercial use by telcos. The DoT advised the government to distribute 3000 premium-millimeter waves and 300 units for 5G coverage within 3.3-3.6 GHz.

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