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MIB directs DPOs to install bandpass filters & LNBs to avoid interference due to 5G trials

The broadcasting industry has been arguing that the allocation of frequencies in the 3300-3670 band to 5G services will lead to severe disruption of the satellite services for media & broadcast

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Published: May 20, 2022 8:46 AM  | 3 min read
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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has directed the distribution platform operators (DPOs) like Tata Play, Hathway Cable, and NXTDIGITAL to install bandpass filters and Low Noise Block (LNBs) with narrowband filters to avoid interference due to ongoing 5G trials.

In the ongoing 5G trials, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has observed interference in the operations of DTH/HITS/MSOs as these systems are using wideband filters/receivers from 3400 to 4200 MHz. The DoT plans to auction spectrum for 5G IMT services in the frequency band 3300-3670 MHz.

The DoT has conveyed to the MIB that in order to ensure broadcast services in the 3700-4200 MHz range and 5G IMT in the 3300-3670 MHz range can co-exist without harmful interference, the operators of DTH/HITS/MSOs are required to install bandpass filters and LNBs with narrowband filters to restrict their reception within 3700-4200 MHz range.

"All DTH/HITS/MSOs are advised to install bandpass filters and LNBs as specified above so that their systems do not suffer interference from 5G IMT systems," the MIB said in an order to the DPOs.

In its recommendations on ‘Auction of spectrum in frequency bands identified for IMT/5G’, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had suggested that the DoT should ask the MIB to take appropriate action and sensitise the MSOs, DTH operators, and other users to ensure the use of high-quality bandpass filters operating in 3700-4200 MHz range to avoid interference from IMT stations.

"As the IMT emissions in the 3300-3670 MHz may saturate the Low Noise Block (LNB) of the FSS earth station which traditionally operates in the 3400-4200 MHz, there is a need to make use of high-quality bandpass filters operating in 3700-4200 MHz range," TRAI had said in its recommendations.

Stakeholders in the broadcasting and satellite industry have been arguing that the allocation of frequencies in the 3300-3670 band to 5G services beyond the current NFAP-18 upper limit of 3600 MHz will lead to severe disruption of the Satellite services for media and broadcast in the 3700-4000 MHz band.
The stakeholders had also contended that filters of 3700-4200 MHz, even if used, cannot filter out these out-of-band emissions as these fall in the 3700-4200 MHz band. Over 600 licensed satellite channels over India operate in this band.
It was also argued that the LNBs used in Cable Headends, which are typically designed for 3400-3900 MHz, would get overdriven (saturated) due to high terrestrial transmissions. This overdrive could have been prevented by the use of filters of 3700-4200 MHz but with Out of Band Emissions (OOBE) falling in the passband of filters, the interference will lead to a complete loss of signals.

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