In a letter to Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Communications, Electronics and Information Technology and Railways, the Global System for Mobile communications Association (GSMA) reiterated that India should identify and support 6 GHz band spectrum for the expansion of 5G services and cost-effective network deployment across the country. As per GSMA, the 6 GHz range is the primary mid-band spectrum to meet the needs for 5G expansion and its timely availability will drive cost-efficient network deployment, help lower the broadband usage gap as well as support digital inclusion.

The letter comes ahead of the ITU-led World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2023 to be held in Dubai later this year. GSMA also sought India’s support for the band at international forums such as Asia Pacific Telecommunity Group and WRC 2023. The letter further noted that GSMA is looking forward to further engaging with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to share their views and priorities of the mobile industry, and to support India in taking positive steps at WRC-23 to safeguard the future of 5G services for the benefit of citizens.

Last year, India’s wireless planning and coordination (WPC) wing formed a committee with a representation from the industry, to chalk out a strategy for identifying the 6 GHz band for mobile services. A Coleago Consulting finding revealed that mid-band spectrum capacity required for India is likely to exceed 2 GHz, and it would be difficult to meet future demand without additional licensed spectrum in the entire 6 GHz band (5925-7125 MHz). The 3300 MHz spectrum range, identified for commercial 5G services, attracted the highest bids of Rs 805.90 billion, in which 71 per cent of total airwaves put on sale fetched Rs 1.5 trillion in a 40-round auction process spanning across seven days.