GSMA continues to highlight importance of 6GHz for 5G in India

GSMA continues to highlight importance of 6GHz for 5G in India

The GSM Association (GSMA) is keeping up the pressure on India’s decision-making bodies to identify and support 6GHz band spectrum for 5G.

According to a letter to the Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, quoted by India’s Economic Times, the GSMA, which represents mobile operators and organisations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, said: "The 6GHz range is the primary mid-band spectrum to meet the needs for 5G expansion and its timely availability will drive cost-efficient network deployment, help lower the broadband usage gap and support digital inclusion."

This is the GSMA's second letter on the subject in three months. In addition, GSMA Director General Mats Granryd, during a visit to India last month, asked Vaishnaw to identify the 6425-7125MHz range frequencies for wireless services.

He’s not alone. In December the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI)  recommend that the most optimal allocation for the country in the 6GHz band would be to identify the entire 5925-7125MHz spectrum in the 6GHz band for mobile applications 

Currently, part of the 6GHz band is used in India and other countries for satellite services and some representatives of the satellite industry are concerned about potential interference from terrestrial services.

The Wireless Planning and Coordination wing (WPC) of India’s Ministry of Communications last year formed a committee to draw up a strategy for identifying the 6GHz band for mobile services. WPC is the national radio regulatory authority responsible for frequency spectrum management, including licensing.

Given the size and influence of the Indian market, this issue will no doubt continue to generate headlines, not least because the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23), at which the global use of radio frequencies will be reviewed and updated, is due to take place in Dubai at the end of this year.

The GSMA noted in a recent blog: “One of the measures of WRC-23’s success will be in its ability to secure 5G’s future in the identification of 6GHz spectrum. With it, the conference can deliver fast, affordable mobile broadband to all parts of the world, lower the usage gap and narrow the digital divide.”

Nor is satellite the only industry outside cellular competing to use 6GHz. Collaboration forum the Wi-Fi Alliance recently voiced its disappointment with the decision by Mexico’s Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) to open only the lower portion of the 6 GHz band for license-exempt applications such as Wi-Fi.

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