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GSMA highlights latest telecom news

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In Short:

Top telco group has requested the Indian government to recognize airwaves in the 6 GHz band for 5G network demand. The telecom department has been urged to include this band in the National Frequency Allocation Plan without delay. GSMA believes that using the 6 GHz band for mobile services will benefit India’s digital aspirations. The matter is pending despite global agreements on the 6 GHz band for mobile telephony.


Top Telco Group Urges Indian Government to Recognize 6 GHz Band for 5G Services

A top telecommunications group has reiterated its stance that the Indian government should recognize airwaves in the 6 GHz band for commercial mobile services. This move is aimed at supporting the growing demand for fifth-generation (5G) networks among telecom operators in the country.

In a letter addressed to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Secretary Neeraj Mittal dated March 26, 2024, Jeanette Whyte, Head of Public Policy at the Asia Pacific branch of GSMA, emphasized the need to include the 6 GHz band (6425-7125 MHz) in India’s National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) without any further delay.

According to Whyte, incorporating the 6 GHz band for mobile services would not only support the telecom carriers’ demand for 5G networks between 2025-2030 but also have a positive impact on India’s digital aspirations and technological landscape.

Industry Support and Recommendations

GSMA, a global body representing over 1100 telecom companies worldwide, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea in India, has been at the forefront of advocating for the use of the 6 GHz band for mobile telephony.

The association, along with the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), has been actively engaging with the Indian government to identify frequencies in the 6 GHz range for mobile services. Despite efforts, the decision is still pending.

Noting that several nations have already agreed to allocate the 6 GHz band for mobile services, GSMA has urged India to follow suit to facilitate the development of a robust 6 GHz equipment ecosystem.

Call for Policy Updates

Whyte emphasized the importance of updating spectrum strategies in line with the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) outcomes. Policymakers and national regulators should consider incorporating the 6 GHz band into their IMT spectrum roadmaps to support future mobile growth.

Despite the agreement reached at WRC-23 to open a portion of the 6 GHz band for mobile telephony services, the resolution on utilizing the 6 GHz band in the telecom department remains unresolved.

GSMA highlighted that the spectrum in the 7025-7125 MHz band would be immediately available for India and other Asian countries as part of Region 3. However, countries can opt for this additional 600 MHz band in four years at WRC-27.

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