Telecom operators write to PMO not to de-license E&V band

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2018

The E&V band (80GHz and 60GHz) are increasingly being adopted by operators globally to cost effectively meet mobile broadband backhaul requirements   - vijayan

Request that it be assigned for backhaul to ASPs that have access to spectrum

Telecom operators have written a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) requesting that spectrum in the E&V band not be de-licensed, and instead be assigned for backhaul to access service providers (ASPs) who have access to spectrum.

In a letter dated July 7, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), representiong the telecom sector, also asked the PMO to consider auction of spectrum in the E&V band in case it is to be used for access services.

The COAI has written the same letter to Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha as well.

“Since microwave technology is connecting more than 80 per cent of physical site for almost all of ASPs network, with present network scenarios of 2G, 3G, 4G and fixed broadband backhaul, it is high time that they have some alternative resource available to deliver high capacity backhaul and meet the market requirement to deliver best quality of experience for their end subscribers,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said in the letter.

The E&V band (80GHz and 60GHz) are increasingly being adopted by operators globally to cost effectively meet mobile broadband backhaul requirements. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had, in its recommendations in 2014 on ‘Allocation and Pricing of Microwave Access (MWA) and Microwave Backbone (MWB) RF carriers for mobile broadband, also recommended releasing both E and V bands.

The E-band supports nx250 MHz channel (19 channels) size and can provide capacity up to 1Gbps on a single channel, and more by aggregating two or more channels. Similarly, the V-band supports various channel sizes. With medium capacity and short reach, the V-band is particularly suitable for dense deployment of macro cells and small cells, where conventional microwave cannot be used due to high interface issues, it said.

The COAI said the Department of Telecom is learnt to be considering de-licensing of spectrum in the V-band, which, it said, would result in interference in the said bands leading to non-optimal utilisation of precious spectrum.

Loss to exchequer

Furthermore, this would lead to a huge loss for the national exchequer as revenue accruing from licence fee, spectrum usage charge as well as value of spectrum would not accrue in this case.

“This will result in non-level playing field, will adversely impact the current investments, and hence the investor sentiment, thus leading to (a) slowdown of future investments in this critical infrastructure,” Mathews added in the letter.

Published on July 09, 2018

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