India’s Saankhya Labs gets 5G trial spectrum to test product for US market

Saankhya Labs 5G trial
Image by abscent | Bigstockphoto

Saankhya Labs, India’s own semiconductor chipset maker, was allocated 5G trial spectrum from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in the 700 Mhz and 600 Mhz bands to test broadcast radio head (BRH) products. It will also test its mobile handset prototype capable of receiving broadcast signals.

The company aims to launch these products in the US market after rigorous testing in India using the trial spectrum in Bengaluru, which is called India’s Silicon Valley.

“Saankhya’s BRH product will be deployed by US private broadcaster Sinclair Broadcast Group for offering live television services on mobile phones in the US market…the experimental 5G spectrum allocation for six months will be used to test the company’s products,” Saankhya Labs CEO Parag Naik was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.

The DoT had previously put on hold 5G trial spectrum allocation to Saankhya Labs as the latter didn’t follow the mandated process of seeking such experimental 5G spectrum. The chipmaker had involved the telecom department’s Standards, R&D & Innovation (SRI) division in the applications process instead of directly applying online to the mandated Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) wing.

The company is aiming to showcase its prototype handset to global original equipment makers that make smartphones. It intends to offer the chipset reference design for integration in the OEM’s smartphones, Naik said, adding that the company will not enter the handsets business directly.

The chip maker’s BRH product, which is already certified by US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is expected to be launched commercially in the US by the third quarter of the next calendar year.

The device enables the convergence of broadcast and mobile broadband networks, allowing digital terrestrial broadcasters in the US to boost their reach and market share.

The BRH can also be deployed as a part of 5G Broadcast solutions developed by Saankhya Labs. This solution is based on the convergence of Broadcast and mobile Broadband networks, in which a mobile network operator can intelligently use the BRH network (that is co-located with mobile radios) to offload some of the high bandwidth-consuming data traffic, such as video, the company said.

“Sinclair wants our product as it would enable them to take their television content to the far more ubiquitous mobile phone,” Naik said, adding that the BRH device would also allow Sinclair to offer data distribution services like firmware upgrades to its US auto clients over a broadcast network.

Saankhya is also aiming to tap the global satellite communication (Satcom) industry. It recently entered into a partnership with US-based Ligado Networks to explore the possibility of increasing the adoption of mobile broadcast technologies. Under the partnership, both companies will collaborate on the further development of mobile broadcast technologies for operation on Ligado’s satellite network.

Saankhya Labs claimed that it is experienced in designing, developing, and deploying mobile satellite service terminals and hub-side baseband. It offers a wide range of Satcom solutions, including satellite phones, two-way MSS terminals and end-to-end communication platforms for Satellite IoT applications. In India, the company works closely with the Indian Space Research Organisation. It provides real-time tracking of trains for Indian Railways, and its Vessel Tracking Terminals assist the Indian maritime agencies involved in coastal security.

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