The controversy over inclusion of the mm wave band in 5G auctions 

News: Telecom regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had asked for Industry’s view on various contours of 5G roll out in India. This plan of TRAI also included the idea of adding millimetre (mm) wave band of 24.25-28.5GHz in the auction of 5G spectrum. 

Satcom Industry association-India (SIA) which represents the interests of the communication satellite ecosystem in India has voiced concerns over inclusion of millimetre (mm) wave in 5G auction. 

Read more about 5G here. 
What is the mm Wave band? 

This is a particular segment of radio frequency spectrum that ranges from 24-100 GHz. 

It has short wavelength and is very appropriate to deliver at high speed and lower latencies. The current available networks work optimally well on the shorter wavelengths, but they don’t work well on the parameter of speed, which is needed for 5G. 

So for 5G to work at its full potential, and speed up the mm wave band is very essential. 

What are the concerns voiced by the SIA regarding its inclusion in 5G spectrum action? 

According to SIA, this particular band has been reserved for the satellite based broadband services as per ITU (International telecommunication union)’s directive. The 5G roadmap of European Union also follows this directive.   

If excess spectrum is provided, it could pose a downside risk of bands going unsold or underutilised.  

Also the mm wave band is very critical for the satellite communication industry, and it is very essential to ensure that 5G operations do not interfere with their current operations.  

How can this negatively impact the satellite communication Industry? 

Recently, internet is being provided by the satellite based communication service providers apart from the fibre optic based systems.  

So the satellite communication industry is trying to keep the mobile telephony companies out of their competition for the band.  

The Industry body also noted that the 330 MHz spectrum in the 3.3-3.67 GHz band is enough to satisfy India’s mid-band 5G needs while ensuring a competitive auction. 

Source: This post is based on the article “The controversy over inclusion of the mm wave band in 5G auctions” published in The Hindu on 14th Jan 2022 

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