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Bharti Airtel’s CEO Gopal Vittal has recently called for higher speed spectrum allocation as well as reduced costs to be prioritised by Indian telco regulators in a bid to deliver efficient, comprehensive and wide-reaching network services as part of the “fourth industrial revolution.”

Indian mobile network operators (MNOs) will need more than 1000MHz of spectrum each in order to provide fast and secure network services so that MNOs are able to deliver what has been promised in terms of 5G technology.

“Indian operators need 1,000MHz of spectrum, each, in order to do 5G properly. There is a lot of work to be done freeing up mmWave spectrum in the high bands. Even when you talk about spectrum in the mid band, the 3.5GHz spectrum, every operator is going to need 75-100MHz of spectrum, otherwise you will see a 5G icon displayed on your phone, but in reality you will just be getting a 4G experience,” Vittal said.

Vittal emphasized that a move like this should not be focused on revenue proliferation, but instead on creating a solid digital stronghold for the country. For this to happen, the spectrum must be cost-effective.

“In many parts of India, you can’t go with fibre. You need microwave spectrum to deal with the backhaul of the very large quantities of traffic that are going to be involved with 5G. For that, there is microwave spectrum sitting with the government in the E-band. This needs to be allocated. It is criminal that it is just sitting there, unallocated. This is degrading the quality of the experience that the industry is able to deliver,” he further added.


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