‘Offering too much spectrum for 5G will hit advanced broadband services’

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jan 12, 2022
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Satellite industry body says it can affect FDI, jobs generation and impact GDP growth

Offering excessive spectrum resources in the upcoming 5G auction will result in Indian citizens being denied the benefits of high-demand, advanced satellite broadband services and risk lost GDP increases per annum of up to $184.6 billion by 2030, a report said on Wednesday.

The report by SIA-India, an industry body for the satellite communications ecosystem, added that it could also mean loss of associated FDI and employment generation benefits.

The impact of the loss of C-band spectrum in the 3.6-3.67 GHz band alone will be felt across the entire ₹70,000-crore Indian broadcasting industry carrying 900+ registered channels to 21 crore households in urban and rural India through around 1,730+ digital platform operators and 50,000+ cable operators that provide direct and indirect employment to 1.83 million people, it said.

Maximise value

It is important to note that 5G advances are not unique to terrestrial networks. Satellite broadband is already using many of these advances and has been doing so for many years.

The ability of satellite-based services to provide connectivity to unserved and many other underserved areas is demonstrated amply, and solutions are available now instead of IMT alternatives with a multi-year roll-out period, the SIA said.

“We consider it important to recognise the current situation in terms of spectrum supply and demand and to adopt a more balanced approach in auctioning of the spectrum bands, taking into consideration the needs of various sectors as well as to ensure efficient take-up whilst generating a reasonable value to the government,” Anil Prakash, Director General SIA-India said.

The international best practice for rationally planning spectrum use for different applications examines alternative uses to identify which use maximises the value of that spectrum, he said.

‘Balanced approach’

It is important to ensure the 5G operations do not interfere, impact or hamper existing operations of satellite services. Mitigation measures like band pass filters are not a standalone solution and are effective only when applied with a suitable guard band and emission limits on the high levels of 5G transmissions compared to earth station receive signals, it added.

Published on January 12, 2022

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