Industry group the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has requested that the government include spectrum in the 26GHz and 28GHz band in the upcoming frequency auction, the Economic Times writes. In a letter to Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan, the COAI suggested that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) urgently consult with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on pricing for the airwaves. The COAI highlighted the importance of the band to potential industry applications, arguing that it would enable India to leverage ‘global 5G ecosystem developments around this band,’ as well as provide impetus to local manufacturing of 5G smartphones, networking equipment and connected devices, with an official from one cellco suggested autonomous farm vehicles as an example.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Indian space agencies are reluctant to vacate their spectrum holdings in the 28GHz and 3.5GHz bands, however, potentially delaying their use in 5G systems. Earlier this week, meanwhile, newly-appointed Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that 5G trials would begin within the next 100 days, whilst the planned mega auction – including frequencies in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 1800MHz, 2300MHz, 2500MHz and 3400MHz-3600MHz ranges – would go ahead by the end of the current calendar year.