India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has published a new National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) that includes additional bands for 5G. Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was cited by the Economic Times as saying that the NFAP 2022 strikes a balance between standardisation and innovation, is dynamic and adaptive and will facilitate ease of doing business in the sector. The document makes additional spectrum in several bands available for 5G services, including in the sub-1GHz range, 70MHz in the mid-band (below 4GHz) and 1,6750MHz of additional spectrum above 24GHz.
The minister also discussed the ongoing rollout of 5G technology, urging providers to accelerate the deployment to 10,000 base stations per week, and the consultation on the draft telecom bill which is set to overhaul the sector’s regulatory framework. The minister claimed that the issues regarding the potential diluting of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI’s) powers have now been addressed and that the draft telecom bill will focus on user protections. As part of the consultation process for the new bill, the TRAI and local experts had expressed concerns that the proposed legislation transfers powers to the DoT and away from the independent watchdog, removing several checks and balances on the DoT and transforming the TRAI into more of a consultative body than regulatory agency.