Last year, the GSMA said that India should identify and support 6 GHz spectrum for the expansion of 5G services across the country

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has urged the Indian government to make available 6 GHz spectrum to enable domestic telecom operators to expand 5G mobile networks, local press reported.

“Unfortunately in the last spectrum auction we could get only 800 megahertz, so to fulfil the requirement, we need to get 1,200 megahertz from the 6GHz range,” said COAI. The entity represents incumbent operators Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. Jio and Airtel have completed pan-India deployments of their 5G networks, while Vodafone Idea has yet to commercially launch its 5G services.

Citing a report from the GSMA, COAI said that India can save as much as $10 billion annually in 5G network deployment through the use of the 6 GHz spectrum band.

Last year, the GSMA said that India should identify and support 6 GHz spectrum for the expansion of 5G services across the country. In a letter to India’s communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the GSMA said: “The 6 GHz range is the primary mid-band spectrum to meet the needs for 5G expansion and its timely availability will drive cost-efficient network deployment, help lower the broadband usage gap and support digital inclusion.”

COAI also noted that this mid-band spectrum would also be crucial for future 6G network systems.

Despite huge investments made by Indian operators for the deployment of 4G and 5G networks, local service providers are among those with the lowest average revenue per user (ARPU) in the world, according to COAI.

Citing another study from brokerage firm CLSA, the association said that India’s spectrum costs, as a proportion of annual recurring telecom revenues, are much higher than key global markets such as China, Germany, the U.K. and Brazil.

“We urge the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)  to revisit the spectrum pricing recommendation, in line with global norms. We also request TRAI to do away with the minimum rollout obligations, giving operators the freedom to decide the rollout strategy upon acquiring the spectrum,” it added.

India’s Department of Telecom (DoT) recently announced a postponement of the upcoming spectrum auction, now scheduled to begin on June 25.

Local press reports stated that the decision was communicated through amendments in the notice inviting applications for bids. The DoT previously expected to start the process on June 6.

In the upcoming auction, 5G airwaves in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 26 GHz bands will be up for sale.

The new 5G spectrum will be assigned for 20 years and successful bidders will be allowed to make payments in 20 equal annual installments.

The DoT previously confirmed that it received applications from local carriers Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

Original article can be seen at: