India: TRAI Releases Consultation Paper on IMT-Advanced

in Blog, IMT-Advanced, LTE-Advanced, Mobile WiMAX, LTE

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on IMT- Advanced Mobile Wireless Broadband Services. International Mobile Telecommunications-Advanced (IMT-Advanced) systems offers higher bandwidth, higher data rate, lower authentication load, and will support higher level of user-level customization. 

The key issues raised in  the consultation paper are suitable spectrum bands, block size of spectrum to be auctioned, maximum spectrum permitted to bidder, eligibility criteria for bidding, rollout obligations, spectrum usage charges, QoS parameters, security issues and other related issues.

Written comments on the issues raised in this consultation paper are invited  from the stakeholders by 20th September, 2011 and counter-comments on the comments by  27th September, 2011.

3GPP LTE Advanced (based on 3GPP release 10) and IEEE 802.16m WirelessMAN Advanced have been accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced technology by ITU.

IMT and IMT-Advanced has identified 450 MHz, 585–806 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2,1 GHz, 2.3-2.4GHz, 2.5-2.69 GHz, 3.3-3.4 GHz and 3.4–3.6 GHz bands for mobile broadband services. 

In India, 800 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum bands are presently being used for 2G mobile services. Though, TRAI has recommended to reframe it and allocate for the IMT services. At present spectrum in these bands is not available. For reframing these bands 1900 MHz bands & 1800 MHz bands can be allocated when available.

Spectrum has been auctioned in the blocks of 2x5MHz in the 2.1GHz  band for 3G services.  If additional spectrum is available in the 2100 MHz band, it will be utilized for 3G services only.

In this scenarios, following spectrum bands are only  available for future technologies in India :

- 700 MHz band (698-806 MHz)

- 2010-2025 MHz band

- 2.3-2.4 GHz band

- 2.5-2.69 GHz band

- 3.4-3.6 GHz band

The 700 MHz (698-806 MHz) spectrum band is  considered  the most important band for broadband deployment. It is suitable from the point of  both capacity and coverage. TRAI has recommended that 698-806 MHz be earmarked only for IMT applications.

2.3-2.4 GHz Band has been allocated for IMT applications including BWA. Out of the total 100 MHz spectrum,  40 MHz has been allocated for BWA services. As per TRAI, remaining 60 MHz of spectrum in this band (currently with Government agencies and captive users) needs to be reframed in a short span of time.

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