5G trial spectrum allotment to Saankhya on hold

Telecom secretary Anshu Prakash has put on hold the recent allocation of 5G trial spectrum to Indian semiconductor chipset maker Saankhya Labs and IISc Bangalore. This has brought to the fore the divergence in view of two key wings of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on the experimental 5G airwaves allocation process.Government and industry insiders said the allocations have been held in abeyance as Saankhya and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore apparently did not follow the mandated process of seeking such experimental 5G spectrum. Instead of directly applying online to the mandated wireless planning & coordination (WPC) wing, they chose to involve DoT’s standards, R&D & innovation (SRI) division in the applications process, a person with knowledge of the matter told ET. The WPC wing is learnt to have raised objections to this, prompting the telecom secretary to intervene.The minutes of an internal meeting of DoT’s SRI division on April 29 show that specific directions were given to WPC’s regional licensing office in Chennai “to issue experimental 5G spectrum licences to Saankhya Labs and IISc without any further delay by April 30” itself. The RLO-Chennai was also ordered to grant such trial 5G spectrum to both applicants for six months, extendable up to a year. ET has seen a copy of the minutes of the meeting that was attended by senior executives of Saankhya Labs and IISc.
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