The association of domestic telecom equipment makers has asked the Digital Communication Commission to review the Department of Telecommunications’ decision not to allocate spectrum administratively for private networks.

The Ministry of Communications has been reviewing the matter for almost two years. Recently, it decided that spectrum for private captive networks will not be administratively assigned to enterprises and can only be leased through telecom operators.

A lot of domestic developers of the telecom stack were banking on direct allocation of spectrum from the government for their businesses. India does not have a very robust ecosystem telecommunications equipment since the market is dominated by global giants, such as Nokia and Ericsson. Most of these companies have pilot projects with various government ministries that want to private networks for administrative purposes.

Also read: USIBC backs administrative allocation of spectrum for satcom

RK Bhatnagar, who heads the association of domestic telecom equipment makers called Voice, has written to the DCC asking for a review on the DoT’s decision on this matter.

DoT possibly accepted the argument put forward by mobile licensed players that if private networks want to utilise spectrum in those band bands, they should get it by leasing from telecom operators. It is a setback to the likes of the mining, manufacturing industry, PSUs like ONGC, others in power, refinery. Steel Plants and even players Tejas Networks, Infosys, GMR and Larsen & Toubro, who all wanted airwaves reserved and directly allotted by the government for setting up 5G private networks.”