Government ends 5G spectrum harmonization process, allotment by August 12

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Within days of holding 5G auctions, the government has completed the spectrum ‘harmonisation’ process, paving the way for streamlining player ownership within a given band for greater efficiency, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.

The spectrum harmonization process, essential for 5G services, brings together a lot of radio wave assets within a band into one contiguous block with the consensus of all telecom service providers.

Vaishnaw told PTI that the government is on track for the timely allocation of radio waves purchased by players (in the auction) by August 12. The approval process of the Committee of Secretaries has also been completed.

“In one day we completed the spectrum harmonization process, which happens after every auction,” said the minister.

The harmonization of the spectrum leads to greater efficiency for players, as chunks of radio waves are brought together in one band or consolidated with the consensus of all players.

“The promise we made that we will allocate spectrum by August 12… we are on time,” Vaishnaw said.

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Explaining the concept of spectrum harmonization, an official from the telecoms department drew a parallel with divided land holdings, merging gaps into contiguous properties.

India’s largest telecom spectrum auction ever, which closed on August 1 (Monday), received a record Rs 1.5 lakh crore in bids, with Mukesh Ambani’s Jio taking almost half of all airwaves sold with a bid of Rs 88,078 crore in the wait dragged.

India’s richest Gautam Adani group, whose participation in the auction was billed by some as another flashpoint in the rivalry with Ambani, paid Rs 212 crore for 400 MHz, or less than one percent of all spectrum sold, in a band that not used for the provision of public telephone services.

Bharti Airtel of telecom mogul Sunil Bharti Mittal made a successful bid of Rs 43,084 crore while Vodafone Idea Ltd bought spectrum for Rs 18,799 crore.

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Of the 72,098 MHz spectrum offered over 10 bands, 51,236 MHz, or 71 percent, was sold.

After each auction, an individual player’s individual assets are banded together through the harmonization process. All players have to agree for such a shift and consolidation to happen, a process that normally takes months.

“It is a difficult process, but we completed the harmonization process in one day. The team has worked very meticulously,” said Vaishnaw.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has obtained 24,740 MHz spectrum in 700, 800, 1800, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz. Adani Data Networks Ltd obtained a 400 MHz spectrum in the 26 GHz band, suitable for captive networks.

Bharti Airtel has obtained 19,867.8 MHz in the 900, 1800, 2100, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands. Vodafone Idea Ltd bought 6,228 MHz spectrum in 1800, 2100, 2500, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz.

Spectrum refers to the radio frequencies allocated to the mobile industry and other terrestrial communications sectors. This includes FM or AM radio broadcasts and even other wireless forms of communication such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

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Cell phones also use these radio waves to transmit voice calls and data. These frequencies come in different bands, support specific technologies and control the transmission speed. The spectrum of the spectrum in each band is measured in MHz.

Typically, 5G provides speeds about 10 times faster than 4G, lag-free connectivity, and allows billions of connected devices to share data in real time.

The fifth generation or 5G would not only provide ultra-low latency connections, allowing full-length, high-quality videos or movies to be downloaded to a mobile device in a matter of seconds (even in crowded areas). health, connected vehicles, more immersive augmented reality and metaverse experiences, life-saving use cases, and advanced mobile cloud gaming, among others.


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