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Is the Indian government taking a cautious approach?

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In Short:

Telecom and tech companies are vying for the 6GHz spectrum in India for mobile telephony and 5G expansion. While telecom players want it for commercial mobile services, tech firms seek it for Wi-Fi. GSMA backs telcos’ 5G demand, while other associations want license exemption for WLAN applications. The Indian government’s stance remains unclear. The spectrum is crucial for 5G expansion, with potential economic benefits. A decision is needed to safeguard investments and sustain growth in the telecom market.


Telecom and Tech Firms Vie for 6GHz Spectrum in India

The 6GHz spectrum has become the center of attention for telecom and technology firms in India, as they strive to persuade the government to allocate this new frequency band in their favor.

Telecom vs Tech Firms

Telecom players are pushing for the identification of frequencies in the 6 GHz range for mobile telephony and 5G network expansion, while tech companies are advocating for the delicensing of the band to offer Wi-Fi services.

GSMA and COAI’s Stance

GSMA, a global telco group, along with the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), have voiced their support for using the 6GHz mid-band spectrum to enhance 5G network capabilities in India.

Contrary Views

On the other hand, associations like ITU-APT Foundation of India (IAFI) and Broadband India Forum (BIF) are advocating for the license exemption of the 6 GHz range to support WLAN applications, emphasizing the need for improved rural broadband penetration.

Government’s Stand

Despite the strong arguments from both sides, the Department of Telecommunications is yet to make a decision on this matter, even post the recent ITU WRC-23 conference.

Importance of 6 GHz Band

The 6 GHz band is crucial for 5G expansion in India and can provide significant economic benefits according to GSMA Intelligence, with the potential to contribute over $455 billion to the Indian economy between 2023 and 2040.

Future Implications

With the increasing demand for 5G services, securing the 6 GHz spectrum is essential to maintain service quality, encourage innovation, and support economic growth across various sectors in India.

It is imperative for the government to take a decisive step soon to address this issue and safeguard telcos’ investments in 5G, ensuring continued growth in the telecom market.

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