ISRO spectrum demand may reach 5G implementation in India, industry experts say

New Delhi, October 13 () The spectrum demand of the Indian Space Research Organization and the conditions proposed by the telecommunications ministry to deploy mobile services in a 26 gigahertz band are likely to hinder the deployment of 5G services in the country, according to industry experts

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), under the United Nations, will hold a conference next month in Egypt to end the use of the 26 GHz band for 5G services. He will begin to deliberate for the same this month.

The Department of Telecommunications has accepted ISRO's demand to use the 26 Ghz band, in which the 5G ecosystem has been developed, mainly for the satellite service. Consequently, the department has submitted this proposal for consideration to the ITU, which establishes a global benchmark for wireless services.

The proposal allows the use of the 26 Ghz band for mobile services with conditions to ensure that 5G services do not interfere with satellite operations.

The operation of IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) within the frequency band 24.25-27.5 GHz will protect existing and future SRS/EESS earth stations; IMT operation within the 24.25-27.5 GHz frequency band will protect existing FSS land and future stations, the DoT said in its submission to the ITU.

The DoT has proposed a radiation power of 7 decibels per 200 megahertz for the base stations that will be deployed in the 26 Ghz band against the industry estimate of 33 dbW per 200 Mhz band.

The power condition per base station proposed by the government is lower than that used for Wi-Fi access points. It will be very difficult to spread the word in this limit, said COAI Director General, Rajan S Mathews.

According to a Research and Development partner of a multinational telecommunications equipment manufacturer, the DoT proposal barely leaves room for 5G deployment in India.

Under the proposal, DoT will have only about 1.25 to 1.5 Ghz of spectrum at 26 Ghz for 5G services in total. An operator will require at least 1 Ghz of higher frequency band spectrum, currently proposed 26 Ghz band, to deploy 5G as established by ITU. Critical 5G applications may fail if sufficient bandwidth is not provided, said the Ru0026D official, who did not want to be named.

According to the ITU, a 5G application in general should be able to transmit data with a speed of 10 gigabits per second and, in some cases, 20 gigabits per second. The case of lower data rate requires about 320 MHz of spectrum, while the highest data rate requires about 670 MHz.

The 5G network is designed to meet the requirements, which is why the need for 1 Ghz has been indicated in the ITU documents. At least 800 MHz must be available in the frequency band above the 6 GHz band per operator for the deployment of basic 5G services. Currently, the 26 GHz band has most of the 5G ecosystem equipment developed. Some countries such as the United States have allocated a 28 GHz band for 5G. This band has not yet been discussed in ITU for 5G services, said the Ru0026D official.

The DoT proposal to ITU also states that the base station in the 26 GHz band should be tilted, which together with the low radiation power requirement, will make 5G deployment four times more expensive in India compared with the rest of the world, according to experts.

The 5G base station may cover only a distance of 25-30 meters depending on the inclined BTS limitation and the low power requirement. If ITU accepts this proposal, the 5G deployment in the 26 Ghz band will be 4-5 times more expensive than the rest of the world, the official said.

The DoT has set a goal to deploy 5G in 2020. However, industry sources do not see the possibility of auctioning spectrum for 5G services in the current financial year, as it has not yet approached the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India to obtain recommendations on 26 Ghz Band prices, identified by several countries for 5G services.

The telecommunications department received Trai's recommendation for the 3,300-3,600 MHz frequency band that can be used for 5G services. However, after the claim of ISRO, it is known that the DoT was left with 175 MHz of radio waves for mobile services.

The proposal will be discussed at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference in Egypt next month, where the spectrum frequency for 5G services is expected to be finalized. The email inquiry sent to DoT in this regard received no response. PRS BAL BAL

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