India's big three telcos have urgently requested access to additional spectrum to cope with a sharp rise in demand for broadband connectivity, fuelled by millions of people being forced to work from home and self isolate during the current Covid19 Coronavirus pandemic.
A report in the Business Standard claims that India's broadband and mobile networks usually run at around 65 per cent capacity but has risen to almost 80 per cent as millions of people opt to work from home.
With the prospect of India's enormous mega cities being put on long term lockdown, operators have now requested additional spectrum to ensure they have adequate capacity and to manage backhaul facilities.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to the country's Department of Telecoms to request spectrum for both "access and backhaul microwave" to cope with the short to medium term demands being placed on the network. Sources told the Business Standard that the COAI was still awaiting a response from the Department of Telecoms.
Telcos around the world are making similar requests, with TMobile in the US recently being granted emergency access to spectrum in the 600MHz band, as part of the FCC's Keep America Connected pledge.