Satcom and telcos battle it out on mmWave band as 5G auction nears, Telecom News, ET Telecom

The coveted mmWave band (24.5-28.5 GHz) has become a critical point between satcom and the telecommunications industry.

While telecommunications regulator Trai has recommended that the mmWave band be auctioned, the Digital Communications Commission is of the opinion that this mmWave band from 27.5 GHz to 28.5 GHz – which was sought after by satellite companies for broadband services from space – should be kept out of the 5G spectrum auction. DCC returned a reference to Trai, asking for advice on not auctioning the 28 GHz range at this time. Trai is expected to return next week.

However, this development did not go over well with many and it became a Satcom problem in relation to the telecommunications industry.

The UK-based Global Mobile Suppliers Association or GSA has called on the Indian government to auction all frequency bands, including millimeter wave (24.5 – 28.5 GHz), and said that the Terrestrial networks and satellite systems can coexist in the band as proposed by the telecommunications regulator.

The deployment of 5G mmWave will not cause interference to the satellite space station of the SFS (Earth to Space) due to the virtues of 5G and inherent technological components such as power control, link adaptation and improved beamforming operation.Joe Barrett, GSA President

Trai had also said that the mmWave band (27.5-28.5 GHz) could be used for both 5G and satellite communication services on a “coexistence basis”.

The GSA cited a study on the coexistence between mobile operators and satellite communication providers which stated that there was no interference problem for satellite services of 5G systems in this band ( 24.25-29.5GHz).

The Satcom Industry Association (SIA) India says the government should discourage the allocation of radio waves to mobile operators in the 27.5 – 28.5 GHz band. India is expected to align with Europe and other 120 countries which have allocated International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) 5G and ESIM (Earth Satellite in Motion), GSO (Geostationary Satellite Orbit) and Non-GSO in separate bands .

The Indian Space Providers Association (Ispa) also believes that allowing the sale of the entire band would constitute oversupply of spectrum for terrestrial network operators to the detriment of the satellite communications industry, and stated that the 24.25-27.5 GHz range as well as 3.3-3.67 GHz band would be sufficient for telecom operators launching commercial 5G services.

This request was strongly opposed by the telecommunications industry. Many foreign players are planning to launch space-based broadband services in India, including Bharti-backed OneWeb, Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper and the Tata-Telesat combination all vying for a share of the new segment.

In a separate development on Satcom, Trai adhered to its recommendations on creating a licensing framework for satellite connectivity for low-bandwidth applications like ATM, Internet of Things devices and traffic management. The regulator had recommended in August 2021 that the government replace the existing formula-based mechanism and levy a spectrum usage fee of 1% of AGR (adjusted gross revenue) for the use of satellite frequencies under NLD (national long distance) service license. Trai suggested excluding revenues from licensed services other than AGR’s satellite services when calculating royalties.

As India prepares to launch 5G later this year, 5G networks have been rolled out and go live in 1,947 cities across 72 countries. Most of these mobile networks operate in non-autonomous (NSA) mode.

Despite the pandemic, 5G cities went online at a rate of nearly two per day, with 635 new 5G cities added in 2021. By the end of January 2022, 72 countries had 5G networks in place.Viavi

Despite the pandemic, 5G cities have come online at a rate of nearly two per day, with 635 new 5G cities added in 2021. By the end of January 2022, 72 countries had 5G networks in place, with the latest generation of 5G countries. including Argentina, Bhutan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta and Mauritius, all of which went live in the second half of 2021.

Interestingly, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) overtook Asia-Pacific including Greater China (APAC) to become the region with the most 5G cities at 839. APAC has 689 5G cities and the Americas has 419. The United States and China are the countries with the most 5G-connected cities with 296 and 356 respectively. The Philippines remained third in the world with a total of 98 cities 5G.

Finally, Finnish telecommunications equipment maker Nokia is betting on India to help it lead the global standardization of advanced 5G and 6G technologies.

Competence in India is seriously underestimated in terms of what they can bring to us. According to Nishant Batra, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of Nokia, Nokia is increasing peer resources including for global standardization to drive many advanced 5G and 6G standards from Indian jurisdiction. Although the standards are not written outside of India, Nokia is finding “skills and people” who can help set global standards.


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