India Will Conduct 5G Trials In 100 Days, 5G Spectrum Auction Soon; But Will Telcos Agree?
Telecom Ministry under the newly formed PM Modi led Govt. has announced two major developments related with the 5G network in India: Within next 100 days, Govt will conduct 5G trials across India, and within this year, 5G spectrum auction will be conducted for approximately 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies.
However, major telecom providers in India have openly shown their displeasure over the pricing of the auction.
Will they participate in the 5G spectrum auction and trials?
5G Trials In 100 Days; 5G Spectrum Auction Soon
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced that TRAI will start conducting trials for 5G network in India, and this will start in the next 100 days.
This is for the first time that a deadline has been announced for the trials.
At the same time, the Minister also announced that auction for the 5G spectrum will be held in the coming days.
TRAI has recommended to DoT that auction and subsequent sale of 20 megahertz (MHz) blocks in the 3,300-3,600MHz spectrum band should be conducted, as these have been assigned for the 5th generation airwaves (5G). Price of Rs 492 crore per MHz has been suggested as of now.
The last auction of telecom spectrum was held in 2016-17, and the Govt. earned Rs 65,789 crore from the same.
Hence, Govt. is eager to initiate the auction now, as 5G is the next big thing in the telecom world. Once 5G network comes to India, then consumers will not only have access to high speed Internet, but also be able to connect with IoT enabled devices, and access the exciting world of inter-connected machines such as TV, cars, fridge, smartphones, watches and more.
But, there is one issue: India’s leading telecom operators are not too happy with the high benchmark of auction.
They want spectrum at a lower cost this time.
Telcos To Govt: 5G Spectrum Are Too Costly
India’s biggest telecom operators: Airtel and Vodafone have termed the prices of 5G spectrum as “exorbitant”, and they want Govt. to lower the price range.
Last week, Airtel CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal demanded that Govt. should reduce the price of 5G waves, as he said that the rates are currently “exorbitant, given that the state of the 5G ecosystem is still nascent”,
Vodafone too stressed that the 5G spectrum being allocated is very expensive, and the rates needs to be cut down.
Vodafone India said, “Going forward, spectrum must be made available at the right price and under right terms and conditions such that it empowers the Indian telecom sector to fulfil its designated role of making broadband accessible to all and for achieving the larger vision of Digital India,”
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.