The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has rejected the telecom regulator TRAI's recommendations on private companies being allowed to create internal 5G networks inside their premises, handing a victory to telecom operators.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said allowing enterprises to set up private cellular networks inside their campuses is essential to help large companies realise the benefit of upcoming technologies such as Industry 4.0, factoring in the next revolution in the area of manufacturing, where fully automated factories produce everything without any human involvement.
Telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, had opposed the regulator's suggestion that companies in India too should be allowed to set up internal wireless networks using 5G technology like they are allowed in the US and Europe. However, the government has dismissed the idea and said there's no proof that Indian companies actually want to, or can, do this.
"TRAI's recommendations on Captive Wireless Private Networks (CWPNs) require further study of ecosystem, including demand assessment, business models, implementation framework, etc," the telecom department informed TRAI.
TRAI had earlier recommended 600 MHz ,700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz spectrum bands to be auctioned. TRAI's recommendation also included auctioning entire spectrum in the forthcoming auction, including the additional spectrum that may be available before forthcoming spectrum. The DoT is also on the same page on this issue.
"TRAI has already recommended that the entire available spectrum should be put to auction in the forthcoming auction. Therefore, any additional spectrum that may become available before the forthcoming auction, should be put to auction; thus, the DoT view is in line with the TRAI recommendation in this regard."
BSNL, MTNL spectrum proposal
The telecom regulatory body has recommended reserving mid-brand spectrum to BSNL and MTNL for 5G services.
"The matter related to reserving spectrum for BSNL/MTNL is to be decided by the Government. The Government may have considered that the quantum of spectrum reserved for BSNL, specially in mid-band, is adequate with respect to the use cases of the technology being proposed to be deployed. It is also desirable that spectrum being reserved for BSNL is put to use at the earliest," TRAI's responded.