Home >Industry >Telecom >US FCC chief Ajit Pai meets Trai chairman, telecom secretary

NEW DELHI : US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday held bilateral meetings with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman R.S. Sharma and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash and discussed a variety of spectrum issues including 5G.

“We have an existing MoU with TRAI and I met Chairman Sharma today and emphasised to them that cooperative relationship has been very fruitful over the last three years and we expect it to be so," Pai told reporters on Monday.

After meeting Sharma, Pai also met Prakash at the department of telecommunications.

“We talked about a variety of spectrum issues including 5G," Pai said.

“We talked about how teledensity is progressing (in the US) what is their fiberisation, which spectrum bands are they using, what they intend to do, what is the auction process, etc," Prakash said.

“We must work closely and work towards improving spectrum efficiency. We also informed them about LMLC (low mobility large cell) which we have developed for 5G technology, this can also be used by the US, as this has a very large cell area. We are very proactive in useful discussions which we will continue," Prakash said.

5G is the next generation of wireless technology and will boost data speeds and propel the Internet of Things, with the potential to bring radical changes in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and education.

Pai, in a Twitter post late on Sunday, said he would discuss 5G with his Indian counterparts. Pai is visiting India along with the US delegation headed by Trump on February 24-25.

Last month, India’s department of telecommunications (DoT) also approved the prices for the spectrum auction scheduled to be held by April.

Of the 8,300 megahertz (MHz) of airwaves the government plans to offer, 6,050MHz have been allocated for 5G. The band allocation for 5G of 3,300-3,600MHz has been priced at 492 crore per megahertz.

On 31 December, the Indian government had also initiated the process for deploying 5G in India and met operators and vendors to discuss the broad road map for the trials expected in January-March.

The last date to submit applications for the trials was 15 January. The Indian government is assessing the applications and allocate the trial spectrum to its licensees, or telecom service providers.

To be sure, the US has throughout the last one year pressed its allies not to use China’s gear maker Huwaei’s 5G equipment alleging that it could be used by China to spy on other countries. Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegation.

Australia and Japan have barred Huawei, while Canada and New Zealand are likely to follow suit. Many countries in Europe are yet to take a decision, while Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have welcomed Huawei.

In India, Huawei is teaming up with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea for 5G trials.

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