A government steering committee has urged the Indian government to make spectrum available for 5G R&D as soon as possible

India’s Department of Telecoms must release spectrum soon, to ensure that the country does not fall behind in 5G research and development, according to a new report.

Commissioned by the Indian government, the report suggests that spectrum in the 700MHz, 3.5GHz, 24GHz and 28GHz range should be made available for R&D as a matter of national priority.

“In the past, India’s spectrum release has always been small, especially compared to the US. For 5G, our spectrum release will be more than many countries which will bring long-term benefits. Making available spectrum early will also enable the growth of manufacturing capability here,” said A. Paulraj, chairman of the steering committee on 5G deployment.

India is currently undergoing a smartphone renaissance, brought about by the provision of ultra-low-cost data tarrifs from all of the country’s major network operators. India’s big 3 telcos have recently announced plans to recruit over 2,000 content specialists to help cultivate data consumption among Indian users. As the country looks to roll out 5G by 2020, its network operators will be keen to devise strategies to adequately monetise the deluge of data that will flow across their networks once the 5G floodgates have been open.