Telecom Lead India:
Nokia Siemens Networks said auction for 700 Mhz spectrum band (4G) should be
planned for H2 2012. If government decides to conduct 4G LTE auction, it will
benefit mobile operators such as Airtel, Reliance Communications, Reliance
Industries, Vodafone, Tata Teleservices, BSNL etc.
Though the government plans to auction spectrum band for 4G services (700 Mhz) by end of this year, most telecom operators, except Bharti Airtel, said it is not the right time to do it.
In its recommendation to TRAI, Nokia Siemens said the band
plans/frequency arrangements for this frequency band approved by ITU Working
Party 5D/Study Group – 5 are under circulation for approval within the notice
period of three months by Radio Communication Assembly and ITU approval is
expected by end April 2012.
The standardization body 3GPP has targeted release of standards
for equipment and eco – system for newer and better technologies for providing LTE
by June 2012. These specifications are being based on the frequency
arrangements/band plans as finalized by International Telecom Union Study Group
for approval of RA -12, and also harmonized by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity
(APT) for Region – 3 including India. Commercial availability of equipment and
eco – system is expected by H1 2013.
Australia and New Zealand are at advanced stage of auction
of 700 MHz band (698 – 806 MHz) for IMT services with a clear roadmap for
auctions this year, commercial launch late 2013.
Nokia Siemens said the block size of the spectrum for
auction could be 5 MHz. This bandwidth would be compatible for deployment of
newer and better technologies like UMTS/HSPA or LTE. This approach, which satisfies
the standardized minimum channel width (5 MHz) for newer and better
technologies, may bring in the desired flexibility for the operators in bidding
for the needed number of blocks.
It has been mentioned by the Authority that spectrum of
license holders in 800 MHz band could be replaced by spectrum in 1900 MHz/450
Nokia Siemens believes that it would be erroneous to
consider the frequency allocations in 1900 MHz band 1850 – 1910 MHz (UL)/paired
with 1930 – 1990 MHz (DL), as this band (part or whole) is not considered compatible
for co – existence with the ITU – R recommended UMTS (3G)/WCDMA frequency band 1920 – 1980
MHz (UL)/paired with 2110 – 2170 MHz (DL) for IMT (3G) services.
The IMT band 1920 – 1980 MHz/2110 – 2120 MHz band had already
been auctioned (2010) and deployed in the country by the licensees for
IMT/3G/WCDMA mobile services. It would be fair to ensure that their networks
are fully safeguarded from possible harmful interferences from the non – compatible
1900 MHz band plan.
The main problem of interference (in – band as well as out – of – band)
in the two incompatible bands (often referred as mixed band plan) is that the
co – existence involves duplex reversal i.e., there would be UL of UMTS WCDMA
band (1920 – 1980 MHz) – DL of 1900 MHz band. The harmful interference by
co – existence of the two incompatible band plans is inevitable.
In case part of the 1900 MHz band, namely 1900 – 1910 MHz
(uplink) / paired with 1980 – 1990 MHz (downlink) is considered for implementation
in the country for co – existence with the ITU – R recommended frequency band, for
IMT, 1920 – 1980 MHz (uplink), it will imply the same non – compatibility/severe harmful
interference issues (BS to BS & MS to MS) mentioned above i.e., there will
be UL (1920 – 1980MHz) band – DL (1980 – 1990 MHz) band interference, around 1980
The suggested arrangement would give rise to an unmanageable
and incompatible situation between base stations of the 1900 MHz band downlink
(aggressor) and the base stations of the IMT/WCDMA core band (victim) around
the frequency 1980 MHz. The proposed incompatible operations between both BSBS and
MS – MS of the different operations would be causing an irrevocable co – existence
impediment for quality grade IMT 3G/WCDMA (including mobile broadband)
services. The implications for IMT are deep and grave.
The Authority had examined the involved technical issues in
detail and recommended several years back (2005) that implementation of mixed
band plan was not considered feasible due to involved harmful interference
between the two bands and that allocation of 1900 MHz may not be desirable in
The sub – 1 GHz bands have excellent propagation
characteristics, providing wide coverage, specially suiting spread out areas.
For optimal utilization of the spectrum, it may need to be ensured that the
technologies deployed in the band are compatible and enable interference free
operations with no spectrum wastages, like guard bands etc.