The ITU-APT Foundation of India (IAFI) has proposed the creation of a new 600MHz spectrum band for 4G and 5G networks in the Asia Pacific region.

In India, this band has been lying idle along with the 700MHz band, depriving Indian telcos of coverage and quality services.

As per the proposal submitted by IAFI, the new 40+40MHz band plan will provide 80MHz of premier 4G and 5G spectrum, in addition to the 700MHz band which could have provided 90MHz of 4G and 5G coverage spectrum.

However, 30MHz of the 700MHz band has already being reserved by the Indian government for the defence ministry (20MHz) and for the railways (10MHz).

Furthermore, the 700MHz band went unsold for the second successive spectrum auction in March 2021 due to a steep reserve price of Rs 6,5.68 billion per unit pan-India.

The Indian authorities have now decided to offer the 600MHz band and the millimetre waves (2425MHz-2850MHz band) for the first time to the three incumbent telcos of the country.

As per industry sources, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will soon seek base prices for both the 600MHz and 700MHz bands, along with the 3300-3750MHz band and the 2425 Mhz-2850 Mhz band.

A letter has also been sent by the IAFI regarding spectrum pricing.

In addition, a group led by IAFI and New Zealand asked operator Spark will be formed to harmonise the 600MHz band plan options among the Asian countries in an effort to develop a unified APT 600 plan.