The operators in India are reportedly pushing for a modification of the regulations governing the rollout of 26 GHz 5G because there aren’t enough 26 GHz-capable devices to make it worthwhile.
All four bidders, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani Data Networks, purchased the 26 GHz spectrum for the rollout of 5G during last year’s spectrum auction.
According to the rollout requirements for the 26 GHz band, a company must commercially deploy service by the end of the first year in each of the three metro areas and in at least one city within each of India’s 22 telecom circles (a service area).
Any violation should result in a monetary fine. The assigned spectrum may be taken back in accordance with the rules if the service launch is delayed by more than a year. However, the entire exercise would be a costly waste of money for operators if no one could use the spectrum because there were no devices.
Although it’s possible that other factors contributed to Adani Data Networks’ inability to roll out 5G, the Adani Group, the parent company, stated last week that it believes it has “too little” spectrum (50 to 100 MHz) and is unable to identify appropriate use cases to carry out any type of services. Thus, it might fail to fulfil its rollout commitments.
Last year, Adani Data Networks purchased 400 MHz of spectrum in the 26 GHz band. Although obviously for different reasons than other operators, it also wants the rules to be relaxed.
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