5G services to be rolled out soon as Cabinet approves spectrum auction
Spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to public and enterprises ( Reuters )
The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has approved a proposal of the Department of Telecommunications to conduct spectrum auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to public and enterprises.
The Indian government has given final approval to a proposal for directly allocating airwaves to enterprises, paving the way for them to operate private 5G networks.
5G services, which will be about 10 times faster than 4G, will be rolled out soon, said a government notification on Wednesday, adding that over 72 GHz of Spectrum will be auctioned for a period of 20 years.
“A total of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction to be held by the end of July, 2022. The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands,” the statement said.
It is expected that the Mid and High band spectrum will be utilised by Telecom Service Providers to roll-out of 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities which would be about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services.
The government also said it would hold the 5G spectrum auction by the end of July. The auction is expected to see participation from the country’s three main carriers Reliance Industries’ (RIL) Jio, Bharti Airtel Ltd, and Vodafone Idea (Vi). The bidders would be given an option to surrender the spectrum after 10 years with no future liabilities with respect to balance instalments.
The spectrum auction will be benefitted by the Telecom Sector Reforms announced in September, 2021. “The reforms include zero Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) on the spectrum acquired in the upcoming auction, providing a significant relief to the service providers in terms of the operating cost of telecom networks,” the govt release added.
The Cabinet also decided to enable the development and setting up of ‘Private Captive Networks’ to spur a wave of innovation in new-age industry applications such as machine-to-machine communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) across automotive, healthcare, agriculture, energy, and other sectors.