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  Technology   In Other news  17 Jun 2018  5G panel identifies 6000Mhz spectrum as available for next-gen service

5G panel identifies 6000Mhz spectrum as available for next-gen service

PTI
Published : Jun 17, 2018, 3:08 pm IST
Updated : Jun 17, 2018, 3:08 pm IST

The service will enhance mobile data speed in India by up to 50 per cent compared to current levels.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is taking strong initiative to make spectrum available for the new service.
 The Department of Telecom (DoT) is taking strong initiative to make spectrum available for the new service.

The 5G committee of the telecom ministry has said that around 6000Mhz of a spectrum can be made available without delay for the next generation mobile service.

If accepted, the panel's recommendation, which has been submitted to the government, can lead to India's largest ever spectrum allocation for a service.

 

An expert member of the panel, Arogyaswami Paulraj told PTI in an interview that initially, the service will enhance mobile data speed in India by up to 50 per cent compared to current levels.

Paulraj is Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, and a pioneer of MIMO wireless communications, a technology breakthrough that enables improved wireless performance.

MIMO is now incorporated into all new wireless systems, as per Stanford site.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is taking strong initiative to make spectrum available for the new service, Paulraj said.

As much as 2,354.55megahertz (MHz) of frequencies valued at around Rs 5.63 lakh crore were put up for grabs in country's largest ever auction held in 2016. At present mobile phone signals in the country are transmitted in 800Mhz to 2600Mhz band.

 

Now, the panel has spotted spectrum for 5G service across 11 bands of which 4 bands -- premium 700Mhz band, 3.5gigahertz (GHz), 24GHz and 28GHz band can be made immediately available for the service.

The panel estimates that 5,250megahertz of a spectrum can be made available for 5G services in higher frequency bands, 300 Mhz in 3.5 GHz band and 405 Mhz spectrum in sub- 1000 Mhz.

Paulraj said: "Spectrum reduces the cost of infrastructure. People will benefit from it. Our spectrum release in 5G will be more than spectrum to be released in many countries.

"If you have more spectrum you can use less base station to serve more people, the cost goes down. If there is less spectrum, you have to deploy many BTS (mobile sites) and everybody pays the penalty."

 

He said that unlike earlier generation technologies including 3G and 4G, the next-gen 5G will not be limited to mobile services but will play an important role in societal transformation with usage in power grids, smart cities, agriculture, banking, railways, healthcare and the like.

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha has set the target for commercial roll-out of 5G services in India by 2020 -- at par with advanced countries of the world.

Paulraj said: "India has already taken lead over many other countries. Perhaps the first country to do spectrum in 5G was the US and I would think maybe a little bit from Europe.

"Otherwise we are ahead of many countries in the world. Bringing spectrum early will enable a lot of things. Most important I feel it will enable growth of that manufacturing ability in our country."

 

Padma Bhushan award recipient Paulraj said the panel has not deliberated on spectrum allocation modalities but favoured issuing the radiowaves to telecom operators at rational prices.

"To serve people of our country, operators must deploy (5G). For them to be able to deploy, they have to be profitable. So spectrum pricing must understand all these dimensions so that operators can make a viable business out of it," he said.

He said that spectrum price per unit for 5G service in higher frequency bands cannot be priced at the same level as a lower frequency band.

"Upper bands we will price lower. Also, remember in order to deploy in the upper band there is much more infrastructure required. It is more expensive for them to deploy in the upper band. So obviously spectrum should be cheaper for them," Paulraj said.

 

In lower frequency band like 700 Mhz band the mobile signal can coverage wide area but the coverage shrinks as the frequency band count increase like in 3.5Ghz, 24Ghz and 28Ghz.

The base price of one unit of pan-India 700Mhz spectrum in 2016 was fixed at around Rs 11,000 crore by the government and interested telecom operators were required to buy a minimum of five units of radio waves in this band. There were no bidders for this premium band due to high base price.

Paulraj said base station for 5G will have to be deployed at around every 50 metres as coverage of mobile signals in higher bands reduces that will lead to an escalation of infrastructure cost.

 

He said that spectrum in E (71-76Gigahertz frequency and 81-86GHz) and V band (57-64Ghz frequency range), in which data can be transmitted at speed of 1000Mbps, should be allocated as per international norms.

"E and V bands, we will do that expeditiously... There are some minor issues to be sorted out. DoT is committed to release E and v band spectrum very quickly. It is essential because in those bands you can do high-speed radio links. In India, 5G will require a lot of backhauls. In 5G we need to have base stations almost at every 50 metres. We don't have fibre every 50 metres here," Paulraj said.

The panel has recommended that government should identify spectrum for 5G services in 600Mhz, 1.4Ghz, 30Ghz, 31Ghz and 37Ghz band while exploring the feasibility of 5G spectrum for the service in 500Mhz and 3.7Ghz bands.

 

Tags: 5g, 5g spectrum, data