India is a mobile-first nation and, therefore, Wi-Fi is not required much and that is why opening the complete 6 GHz band for international mobile telecommunications (IMT) for 5G communications can help improve the quality of coverage, enhancing the experience of users, said Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Wednesday.

The 6 GHz band is a contiguous block of spectrum, which can enable better spectrum efficiency for mobile network operators. This will allow them to provide more services to customers while reducing their operating costs.

The insufficient spectrum in mid-bands will imply extreme densification to meet mobile broadband demand. Extreme densification imposes unsustainably high costs (ultimately borne by users), increased carbon footprint, and may not even be feasible due to interference or site availability challenges, it said.

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The industry body has again urged the government to allot full 6 GHz band to 5G communications to address future demand as technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, and smart cities continue to evolve.

“India is primarily a mobile-first country with wireline broadband penetration only being 3 per cent of the subscriptions. Mobile data is the key source for Internet access...Indian population density is more than almost all developed countries, which have an extensive wireline/ OFC infrastructure. Therefore, we are asking for allotment of unused 6 GHz spectrum to put into use,” SP Kochhar, Director General, COAI, told reporters here.

That is why for satellite communications also, the industry is recommending promotion of the use of Ku (12 GHz to 18 Ghz)/ Ka (26.5 GHz to 40 GHz) and other higher frequency band, he said.

He said the telecom service providers aspect assured policy commitment for mid-band spectrum for business continuity and risk proof initial investments in 5G.

He added that 6 GHz band is crucial for enhancing the performance of 5G networks, enabling higher data speeds, increased capacity, and improved connectivity.