After several top industrialists have shown their interest to procure 5G spectrum for research, Indian Engineering and R&D major L&T Technology Services Limited (LTTS) has become the first company to jump in the fray.
L&T Technology Services is the first technology company to publicly express its interest in the government’s direct allocation of spectrum for captive 5G networks.
According to the top company management, it will obtain spectrum to set up a 5G non-public network to build use cases on the technology. The engineering and research and development services firm will looks to deploy 5G solutions globally for parent Larsen & Toubro.
India recently issued rules for non-telecom enterprises to acquire spectrum directly from the telecom department for setting up private 5G networks. The 5G spectrum will be up for grab in the auction starting later this month.
Meanwhile L&T has already entered into a partnership with network software provider Mavenir to deliver 5G automation services and speedy integration of open radio access network products with which they will go to market together.
The company also welcomed the government decision to allow 5G for private enterprises, but sought changes to the rules, like allowing deployment of the same 5G network in more than one location. Also, the inability of connecting the 5G spectrum that enterprises get to the Internet is requested to be changed for providing application-as-a-service or lab-as-a-service offerings, Chadha said.
The company will undertake the deployment of the technology in L&T’s premises. Other tech companies under the group — Mindtree and L&T Infotech — have also indicated that they were not keen on obtaining private 5G spectrum.
Under the regulations for private 5G networks announced last month, the Department of Telecommunications will undertake demand studies and then seek recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India before allocating spectrum. The department will not charge licence or entry fees for the allotment of spectrum to enterprises for connecting their facilities, and will only levy a nominal processing fee of Rs 50,000.
This has led to a tug of war between tech and telecom companies, where the latter have flagged concerns of potential loss of 5G enterprise revenue and claimed that it would create uncertainties around the viability of their 5G offerings.