L&T Tech becomes first tech firm to obtain captive 5G spectrum directly

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L&T Tech becomes first tech firm to obtain captive 5G spectrum directly
L&T Tech becomes first tech firm to obtain captive 5G spectrum directly

We have already applied for the 5G spectrum for our Mysore campus. 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

For captive 5G networks, L&T Technology Services has become the first technology company to publicly express its interest in the government’s direct allocation of spectrum.

To build use cases on the technology, it will obtain spectrum to set up a 5G non-public network, said chief executive Amit Chadha. The engineering and research and development services firm, apart from this, will also deploy 5G solutions globally for parent Larsen & Toubro.

For non-telecom enterprises, India recently issued rules to acquire spectrum directly from the telecom department for setting up private 5G networks.

“We have already applied for the 5G spectrum for our Mysore campus. 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,” said Chadha, who is also its managing director.

To deliver 5G automation services and speedy integration of open radio access network products, the company has entered into a partnership with network software provider Mavenir, with which they will go to market together.

To allow 5G for private enterprises, the company welcomed the government decision, but sought changes to the rules, like allowing deployment of the same 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 too, Chadha said. Other tech companies under the group — Mindtree and L&T Infotech — have indicated that they were not keen on obtaining private 5G spectrum.

The Department of Telecommunications, under the regulations for private 5G networks announced last month, 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 INR 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.

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