L&T first to seek direct allocation 5G spectrum in India

L&T Technology direct allocation
Image courtesy L&T Technology Services

L&T Technology Services is looking to acquire 5G spectrum from the Indian government for captive networks in the country through direct allocation. The IT and engineering services provider, which has become the first technology firm to express its interest in captive 5G networks, will acquire spectrum to set up a 5G non-public network to build use cases on the technology.

The Indian government recently issued rules for non-telecom enterprises to acquire spectrum directly from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for setting up private 5G networks.

The company’s chief executive and managing director Amit Chadha said that the company will also deploy 5G solutions globally for parent Larsen & Toubro. He said that the company has already applied for 5G spectrum for its campus in Mysore.

L&T has also joined hands with Mavenir for 5G automation services and speedy integration of OpenRAN products. Both companies aim to jointly market their offerings in the country under this partnership.

“…we are building use cases in medical emergency room settings and remote operating procedures…in plant engineering, we are implementing reliable operations and proactive maintenance scheduling. The third one is defence related. We have also set up a device testing lab in Bangalore and Dallas and are now setting up one for discrete manufacturing in Munich,” Chadha was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.

The executive said that the company has urged the DoT to allow some changes to the rule to secure 5G spectrum by private enterprises. Chadha said that deployment of same 5G network in more than one location must be allowed.

He also urged the authority to allow private enterprises to connect 5G spectrum for providing Application-as-a-Service or Lab-as-a-Service offerings.

The report added that The company will undertake the deployment of the technology in L&T’s premises too.

However, other L&T Group companies Mindtree and L&T Infotech will not apply for obtaining private 5G spectrum.

While L&T looks to acquire spectrum through direct allocation by the DoT, Adani Data Networks has applied to acquire spectrum through the auction process where it will be competing with Indian telcos like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

Adani Data Networks, however, clarified that it will not use spectrum to offer consumer 5G services but rather use it to provide private network solutions for its enterprise business across airports, ports & logistics, power generation, distribution, and manufacturing operations.

Adani Data Networks has put in earnest money deposits (EMDs) of Rs 100 crore ($12.66 million) on Monday ahead of spectrum auctions. The EMD quantum is indicative of a company’s bidding strategy and spectrum buying capacity. The EMD amount gives the applicant eligibility points, based on which it can target a certain quantum of airwaves in select or all available bands in specific or all circles.

After the Indian Cabinet cleared the decision on direct allocation of spectrum to enterprises, the DoT said that it will undertake demand studies and then seek recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India before allocating spectrum. The DoT will only levy a nominal processing fee of Rs 50,000 ($625) and will not charge licence or entry fees for the allotment of spectrum to enterprises for connecting their facilities.

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