COAI Talks about Private Networks, 5G, 6G and More


5G rollout is expected to take place around the beginning of October 2022. Things seem to be ready for the private telcos and with 5G, Indian consumers will be able to get very fast mobile download and upload speeds along with networks with lower latency. However, this is not all there is when we talk about 5G. SP Kochhar, Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), spoke to TelecomTalk about the challenges that telecom operators will face as they roll out 5G and beyond. Take a look at the video below to hear the entire conversation. (Pro tip – listen to the conversation at 1.5x or 2x speed on YouTube or Spotify to save yourself a lot of time).

COAI’s take on administrative allocation of spectrum for private LTE or 5G networks

Kochhar said, “COAI’s stand on the matter is that there should be no administrative allocation of frequencies. It should be done through auction routes.” The reason, Kochhar said, is that when you take the spectrum to offer or provide similar services, regardless of the geography you cover, it should be given to you in the same way as it is given to the telcos. Furthermore, the same licensing norms should be applied that apply to telecommunications players.

Kochhar also spoke about the need for higher fiberization in India. He said that currently around 35% of the towers are fiberized in India. For 5G, towers must be fiberized, as that will be a crucial thing.

On 6G

“When we switched from 4G to 5G, it was a switch from one technology to another technology. But with 3G to 4G, it was an upgrade, not a technology switch. Likewise, 5G to 6G would be a switch between technologies,” he says. Kochhar said.

“It will be the same set of technology and so the use cases that come up for 5G will help tremendously in 6G. But the adoption of 6G would be much faster than 5G because it’s the same technology and as the mindset and technology would have settled in when 6G emerges. India has realized this and the government has already started working on 6G. We are at an advanced stage of developing standards, use cases and various things. There are around 8 or 9 sub-committees which have been formed under a task force under DoT which are looking into these aspects.”

Kochhar also said that for 6G rollout, India would be a leader globally. We talked a lot more about other things. To hear the entire conversation, watch the video above.


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