TCS has applied to participate in the demand study for 5G private networks being conducted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The study is to assess the demand for direct assignment of spectrum to set up captive non-public networks (CNPN).

In an interview with businessline, N Ganapathy Subramaniam, COO, said,“We have submitted the application, and presented that we will be interested in acquiring mm-wave spectrum for our own internal use.”

TCS, which is likely to bag the commercial contract to deploy the 4G network for BSNL, has recently set up two new business units for telecom and 5G solutions.

‘Keep options open’

The demand studies for private networks are a part of the guidelines for CNPN license issued by the government to establish a legal framework. Subsequently, after assessing the demand, the government will decide whether or not spectrum for such private networks should be administratively assigned, and at what price. At present, enterprises can lease spectrum from telcos to establish a private network.

Ganapathy reiterated that the option must be kept open for administrative assignment of spectrum for the purpose of internal usage for an enterprise, at a nominal fee. “We do not wish to preclude telecom operators from leasing out spectrum for private network purposes,” he added.

He added that TCS aims to utilise mm-wave spectrum for its own internal operations. On the commercial side, he said the company could aid other enterprises in acquiring spectrum either from the government or telcos and deploying 5G private networks on their premises and enable operational efficiencies. “These are core competencies for TCS anyway,” he said.

Commenting on TCS’ likely partnership with BSNL, Ganapathy said the network will be deployed in 18-24 months, after which the IT major could explore further partnerships with operators around the world. While the administrative assignment of spectrum for private networks could be years away, Ganapathy quipped that the “market is not going anywhere”.