Jio requests DoT authorization to expand usage of E-band spectrum

Jio has reportedly urged the DoT to send a new reference to TRAI declaring that E-band spectrum can be used for mobile services.

Ayushi Singh
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Jio has reportedly urged the DoT to send a new reference to TRAI declaring that E-band spectrum can be used for mobile services


Reliance Jio has reportedly submitted an application to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) asking for permission to expand the use of E-band spectrum to access, or mobility, use in addition to backhaul, stating that the difference between the two has disappeared due to technical improvement.

To facilitate the rollout of 5G, the DoT gave administratively allocated E-band spectrum to telecom operators last year for backhaul use only. The rollout of 5G networks demands robust backhaul infrastructure to handle the increased data traffic. E-band technology plays a pivotal role in supporting 5G deployments by providing high-capacity, low-latency backhaul connections.

Extremely High-Frequency Microwave Band, or E-band, operates between the frequencies of (71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz). It belongs to the microwave spectrum and is distinguished by its extremely low latency and large data carrying capacity. Due to its distinctive combination of qualities, it is the best option for both access services and backhaul in the communications network.


The market leader in telecom has moved to request mobile use of the E-band in advance of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) anticipated consultation paper on the method of distributing such airwaves. Jio is now reported asking the DoT to provide a new reference to Trai that emphasises the fact that access services can also be provided using E-band spectrum.

In accordance with an ET report, Jio has informed the DoT that its demand to utilise the E-band for access services in addition to backhaul is completely in line with technology advancements and global 3GPP standards. According to what is said to be Jio's statement to the DoT, "E-band spectrum can be used to provide high speed broadband in densely populated areas where laying of last mile fibre is difficult and uneconomical."

Jio has reportedly urged the DoT to send a new reference to TRAI declaring that E-band spectrum can be used for mobile services even though it hasn't requested the auctioning of E-band spectrum directly.


Backhaul is the process of transmitting data from a mobile network's core to nodes, then onto towers, which is essential for a 5G mobile broadband operation. E band spectrum can therefore be used as a replacement for fibre in areas where a telco is unable to install it because fibre takes a lot of investment, staff for installation and maintenance, as well as permissions at the national and municipal levels.

In the past, DoT has asked Trai to provide suggestions for distributing E and V bands as well as backhaul carriers, with the express intent of solely providing backhaul connection. Backhaul spectrum was previously distributed administratively to telecom companies. However, the DoT was considering using an auction to assign E and V bands as well as backhaul carriers, a decision that was opposed by the technology industry. The Supreme Court's 2012 ruling supporting auction as the method of allocating all scarce natural resources, including airwaves, caused the DoT's position on the spectrum allocation mechanism to alter.

According to ET, Trai will shortly release a consultation document to discuss the process for distributing backhaul carriers and spectrum in the E and V bands to telecom operators. The report further mentioned that due to their modest differences, E and V bands will likely be handled differently by Trai. Although E band is currently usable for mobility services, V band spectrum (57-64 GHz and 64-71 GHz) utilisation has not yet taken off.


Technology companies no longer assert their ownership of E-band spectrum, but they continue to argue that V band, or at least a portion of it, should be delicensed for wifi use.