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Telecom operators ask Centre for clear 5G roll-out road map

India’s telecom operators on Wednesday pressed the federal government to resolve when it plans to public sale fifth-generation (5G) spectrum in order that they’ve readability on when to begin area trials to check the expertise and roll out companies.

In a gathering with telecom division officers to debate the 5G roadmap, the telcos sought globally harmonised bands to be recognized for 5G companies within the nation to reinforce interoperability between networks.

They additionally requested the division’s wi-fi planning cell to replace the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP)-2018 with new spectrum bands reminiscent of 26GHz (gigahertz) which have been recognized by the International Telecom Union for 5G deployment.

“Spectrum already identified for IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications)/5G in the NFAP-2018 should be made available for mobile services,” SP Kochhar, director-general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), mentioned, including that, “timelines need to be defined for the availability of these bands”.

The NFAP is a central coverage that defines the roadmap for future spectrum utilization by all nationwide authorities, together with the telecom division, the division of area and the defence ministry.

Besides the globally authorised bands for 5G, foyer group COAI additionally urged the federal government to right away public sale the E and V spectrum bands.

In September, COAI had sought allocation of spectrum within the E and V bands, best for 5G companies, by way of auctions.

The business physique mentioned that if E and V bands have been delicensed or administratively allotted, the airwaves may very well be used as entry spectrum by unlicensed corporations, making it tough for licenced telcos to broaden the backend infrastructure.

Delicensing of the E and V bands would additionally result in an enormous loss in authorities revenues from spectrum utilization prices and licence charge, COAI mentioned.

Besides the telcos, representatives of expertise giants Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. have been additionally current on the assembly, firm officers mentioned, including that each one stakeholders got 3-4 minutes to make their shows.

The DoT didn’t make any comment on the problems flagged within the assembly, the folks mentioned.

Though the problems regarding 5G have been central to the assembly, telcos additionally sought decrease taxes and levies, which provides to the stress on their stability sheets and has been a longstanding concern of two of the three largest telcos within the nation.

“If the spectrum is acquired through auction, then there should not be any usage charge for the spectrum as the market-determined price is already paid,” mentioned Kochhar.

The telcos additionally flagged pricing of spectrum, which based on Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd is unaffordable.

Experts mentioned the upcoming spectrum public sale to be carried out in March may very well be a repeat of the 2016 fiasco when massive chunks of airwaves have been unsold as a result of excessive reserve costs.

There may very well be restricted participation from these two cell operators, owing to costly pricing, they mentioned.

“This has been a long-pending demand of pricing of spectrum to be rationalised and benchmark it according to international norms,” Kochhar mentioned.

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