Indian telecommunication authorities should solve the 5G spectrum, and C-band satellite dilemma in an amicable way, says research

India has had its fair share of frequency disputes between 2G and 3G radio systems, Global Systems for Mobiles-Code Division Multiple Access(GSM-CDMA), and Dewas S-band, which ended in the Supreme Courts chambers. Some mobile licenses have been canceled in the past due to spectrum aspects. The dilemma is between the C-band spectrum and the satellite and broadcasting operators against 5G technology already rolling out in other countries like China.

The C-band is an electromagnetic spectrum between 4 and 8GHz used in satellite communications transmission. It is also used in Wi-Fi devices, cordless telephones, and radar and surveillance systems. The upcoming 5G technology will use the C-band 3300-4200 and 4400-5000MHz to balance coverage and capacity in the telecommunication sector.

“The spectrum band represents a balancing point between coverage and capacity that provides the perfect environment for the earliest 5G connectivity,” explained Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA).

The mid-band spectrum in the C-band is crucial for the 5G and has been designated funds by the National Frequency Allocation Plan 2018(NFAP) to support operators to roll out 5G. The dilemma arising between satellite operators and 5G operators is unnecessary. The two technologies should co-exist because they are equally important. The two technologies do not overlap each other in any way seeing there is a guard-band of 100MHz between them.

5G will improve India’s overall economic situation through better healthcare provision, the manufacturing sector, the transport industry, and logistics. Customers will get a good quality network and connectivity. However, to provide effective 5G services, each operator should be assigned 80-100 MHz, according to India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI).

Countries around the globe have welcomed the 5G technology. In Hong Kong, the government has credited 300MHz to 5G. China has also assigned the same range for its 5G while Singapore earmarked 225MHz to the technology with only two operators given the green light. In Malaysia, the communications authority has assigned 100MHz to a single operator awarded multiple licenses.

In the US, the government is persuading satellite operators to move from the C-band spectrum with a $10 billion compensation, but some operators are hesitant. The satellite sector is crucial to communication, remote sensing, and entertainment. About 207 million TV households are served by the satellite technology that carries over 900 registered TV channels transmitted through the C-band satellites.

The satellites carry information to about 1,701 registered distribution platform operators (DPOs) located in India’s different parts. Not forgetting the number of people employed in the satellite sector. If the government were to cancel the C-band in satellite technology, over two million Indians would lose their jobs. The currently high media consumption would go down in case of such a disruption.

Experts advise the government to copy what other economies are doing, using the 80MHz from the shared 100MHz at the C-band for 5G, leaving the satellite sector with 20MHz, which may sustain the sector. However, some studies have claimed even this approach could interfere with the satellite sector.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *