During a recent meeting of the APT Wireless Group (AWG-29) organised by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), the final approval of the new APT 600 MHz band plan has been received that will open an additional 40+40 MHz prime UHF spectrum. This is in addition to the 45+45 MHz in the 700 MHz band which was earlier approved by the AWG in 2013.

The Bangkok based APT is an inter-governmental regional telecom organisation covering all countries in the Asia Pacific region. The meeting also decided to call this new band as the APT 600 MHz band.

The meeting of the AWG was held as a virtual meeting and covered various aspects of emerging wireless technologies and systems to meet the upcoming digital convergence era in the Asia-Pacific region.

ITU APT Foundation of India (IAFI) had submitted 6 contributions to the AWG-29 covering various aspects including a proposal for a new APT Report on 6GHz Wi-Fi known as WI-FI-6e. The proposed new APT report on Wi-Fi 6e will be taken up by the AWG in its next meeting, based on further proposals to be submitted by IAFI. Other proposals submitted by the IAFI included a new report on disaster alerting systems over mobile phones, satellite based IOT systems and cellular based automated driving.

Speaking on the outcomes of the AWG-29, Bharat Bhatia, president, IAFI said, “The outcomes of the AWG will have far reaching impact on the roll out of 5G in India. With the opening of this new prime spectrum in 600 MHz band under the option B1, the band provides 40+40 MHz UHF spectrum for 5G services with excellent wide area coverage suitable for urban, rural and suburban areas with high inbuilding penetration. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is already considering this new 600 MHz band for the upcoming 5G auctions in India.”

AWG is also preparing a new report on emerging critical applications and use cases of 5G for industrial, societal and enterprise users. This new report is expected to be completed by the next AWG meeting scheduled to be held in September 2022 and will cover private mobile broadband networks to meet the needs of Industry 4.0 and other enterprise users for local-area coverage or virtual private networks on a public mobile operator network.