The ITU APT Foundation of India (IAFI) has urged the ministry of communications to open the high frequency range of E-band for supporting 5G network and delicensing V-band for Wi-Fi services as part of the next phase of telecom reforms.

The second set of telecom reforms are likely to take place by May 2022. The reforms will focus on ease of doing business, reduce cost of doing business and promote affordable connectivity across the country.

In addition, IAFI has also recommended the delicensing use of 1,100 MHz spectrum in the 6 GHz frequency range for promoting Wi-Fi services in the country. Meanwhile, as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI’s) recommendations and global practice, telecom operators have been demanding allocation of E-band and V-band spectrum through auction, while other set of internet service providers have sought delicensing of the these bands.

According to IAFI, delicensing of spectrum is the most transparent and equitable way of spectrum allocations and fully in alignment with the Supreme Court judgment in the 2G case. Further, IAFI believes that delicensing of 6 GHz band will open new opportunities for innovators and manufacturers to develop products and technologies and also increase opportunities for smart home and industrial products being manufactured in India for export markets. IAFI is of the opinion that V-band will offer a wireless solution that can speedily help meet aspirations of the PM-WANI (Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) initiative.

The 6GHz band is currently extensively used by satellites for uplinking of broadcasting channels as well as by VSAT players for providing data connectivity, and is currently not used for mobile operations. The government is yet to open access of E-band and V-band band for the industry.