“5G will dilute significantly if mmWave bands like 26 GHz band are not opened immediately as large chunks may get claimed by other government agencies,” SP Kochar, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), told ET. The association represents Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea. Kochar called on DoT to make a reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to include the 26 GHz band for auction along with other 5G bands such as 3.5 GHz.
DoT has not sought pricing recommendations from the regulator for 26 GHz spectrum even some eight months after the International Telecom Union finalised rules for global 5G deployment in the coveted band, including in India. While telcos have sent several reminders, DoT is yet to clear the air on whether this band will even be available for 5G trials. A DoT panel suggested in a draft report last year that 400 units of 26 GHz spectrum and 100 units of the 3.5 GHz band be offered for 5G network trials.