“Satellites will play an important role in the (5G) ecosystem, and regulatory decisions must take into account the spectrum requirements of all parts of the ecosystem, not just the mobile component,” a report by the SatCom Industry Association (SIA) recommended. It argued that the policymakers are under pressure from “terrestrial mobile operators” to repurpose spectrum to meet new technical requirements for 5G. SIA wrote that the “5G advances were not unique to terrestrial networks”* as satellite broadband has been using these advances for years now. It called for an audit by either the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) or the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to ascertain the “fair and sensitive treatment of incumbents versus increasing demands for spectrum from the protagonists of 5G”. The state must review the feasibility of the mobile network operators’ business plans and monitor their implementation regularly, it added. “It is of utmost importance for the policymakers to frame a multi-technology Policy with a right mix of fixed-line, satellite, Wi-Fi and mobile broadband to ensure a more inclusive penetration.” — SIA report The report recommended that the Indian government can deploy 5G in the 26 GHz band in line with international trends to benefit from economies of scale. It reasoned that the move will ensure effective utilization of the frequency as it will provide each operator with 400 MHz at the outset which can be increased to 800 MHz in the future if needed. The report assumes significance in the context of the 5G auctions…
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