BSNL seeks 70MHz spectrum in 3.5GHz band for 5G network: Report

London-headquartered GSMA points out, “Today, a majority of commercial 5G networks rely on the spectrum in the 3.5 GHz range (3.3 GHz-4.2 GHz). This momentum makes it vital that regulators assign as much contiguous 5G spectrum as possible in the range.”

BSNL seeks 70MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band

BSNL is seeking 70MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band. This means that Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will be left with a smaller pool of airwaves to bid for in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. If demand is met, only 300MHz of the spectrum will be left for private telcos. Of this, a minimum 100MHz per operator is needed for offering services in this band. However, telecom networks feel there shouldn’t be such restrictions on them, said the report.

BSNL Chairman and MD, PK Purwar, has written a letter urging that 70MHz of mid-band spectrum should be offered to the telecom firm, said the publication citing sources. The Digital Communications Commission has approved 30MHz of spectrum for BSNL in the mid-band. Apart from this, a spectrum in the 600MHz band and the 400MHz in the millimetre-wave band will also be reserved for the teleco.

DoT is expected to present BSNL’s demand before the Cabinet, which will take a final decision on this issue. The telecom network has already issued a purchase order to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to deploy as many as 6,400 4G network sites. The TCS-led consortium also includes the state-owned Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), which is providing an indigenously designed and developed core network.

Following a proof-of-concept (PoC) on 2100 MHz spectrum in Ambala and Chandigarh, BSNL has given an order for 6,000 sites, and another 400 to be deployed using 900 MHz airwaves.

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