There's enough spectrum to launch 5G services in India: Prasad in Lok Sabha

Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad

The spectrum proposed for auction is enough to launch 5G services in the country, the government said on Wednesday.

Industry body Broadband India Forum (BIF), however, has said that quantum of frequency proposed is insufficient to start the next generation mobile services, Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

The minister said that 275 megahertz of radiowaves frequency between 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425 to 3,600 Mhz band is available for 5G auction.

"BIF have, in their representation to the Government, stated that the quantum of 5G spectrum that has been allocated for the upcoming 5G spectrum auction is not enough for a country of India's size and density. In DoT's view, the present available spectrum is enough to start the 5G services," Prasad said.

According to ITU, a 5G application in general should be able to transmit data with 10 gigabit per second speed and in some cases 20 Gigabit per second.

Industry experts have said the lower data speed case requires around 320 Mhz of spectrum, while higher data speed needs around 670 Mhz.

The DoT has set a target to roll out 5G in 2020. Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson in its global study published early this week said that 5G connections are likely to be available in India from 2022.

The industry bodies and telecom operators individually have also pointed out that spectrum price recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for next round of auction is too high. However, Trai has kept the price in its recommendation unchanged.

"The value of unsold spectrum as on date as per valuation by Trai in its recommendations on Auction of Spectrum in 700 MHz, 800MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3400 MHz, 3400-3600MHz Bands dated August 1, 2018 is Rs 4.9 lakh crores," Prasad said.



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