Reliance Jio has asked for approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to widen the scope of the E-band spectrum to include access services along with backhaul, insisting on economic benefits for last-mile broadband deployments over fiber.
To enhance the 5G rollout, E-band spectrum was provided to telecom firms administratively by the DoT for exclusive backhaul use. Backhaul refers to operations connecting a mobile network to nodes and towers to facilitate the transmission of data.
However, Jio now requests that the DoT to send a new reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), emphasizing that the E-band spectrum (71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz) could also be used for access services provided by the telcos. Jio stated that the spectrum could also be utilized to deliver high-speed broadband services in urban areas where fiber deployments are costly and extremely difficult.
Jio reportedly reasoned that its requirement to use E-band for access services is in line with the international standards of 3GPP.
TRAI is set to release a consultation paper on how to allocate spectrum in the band, which was assigned to operators in 2022 to speed up the rollout of 5G services.
Jio recently revealed that it successfully ended August with 50 million 5G users, with 96% of towns covered.