PM Narendra Modi has assured faster and better connectivity for all by approving the 5G spectrum auction proposal in the Union Cabinet. By doing so, telecom service providers will be able to offer high-speed internet connections to both individuals and businesses. At a time when mobile broadband accounts for more than half of citizens’ daily lives, the move is in line with the government’s goal of transforming India into a digital powerhouse.
With this auction, the government hopes to provide a level playing field to all telecom service providers. Moreover, create a fair and transparent ecosystem that will promote healthy competition and spur innovation. The auction will result in significant revenue for the government. Further, this can help to fund various development initiatives.
5G: The Next Big Thing
5G technology is the next big thing in the world of telecommunications. Not only is it faster than previous generations of mobile networks, but it also has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries. In India, the government has been working to promote access to 5G services through such pathbreaking policy initiatives as the PLI scheme for mobile handsets and telecom equipment. With these initiatives in place, the country is well on its way to becoming a leading player in the 5G space.
Spectrum & Auction
The successful commercial deployment of 5G services in India will require the availability of an adequate quantity of spectrum inappropriate bands within the envisaged rollout timeline. Moreover, 5G services are expected to be deployed commercially in India by the end of 2022.
A total of 3,507 MHz spectrum has been identified by the Department for the promotion of telecom services through auction in seven frequency bands i.e. 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 & 2500 MHz. Out of this, a total of 2142.75 MHz spectrum is proposed to be put to auction by March 2020.
Besides this, spectrum in the 3300-3600 MHz band (hereinafter referred to as “mmWave spectrum”) is also identified for 5G services and is under consideration for early release. The reserve price for the mmWave spectrum is yet to be finalised by TRAI. This department is aiming to make available an adequate quantum of spectrums for the successful launch of 5G services in the country.
With speeds and capacities better than 4G, 5G will enable a whole new range of applications and services. The upcoming auction is a major step forward in rolling out 5G-based services in India.
Special Reforms & Measures
To ease the process of doing business, the Cabinet has announced many reformative measures with regard to spectrum acquisition. In this auction, upfront payments are not mandatory for bidders. Instead, payments can be spread out evenly in 20 annual installments, to be paid at the start of each year.
This will lighten the burden on cash flow and make it more manageable for businesses operating in this sector. Furthermore, you can surrender the spectrum after 10 years without any further liability for bidders. This move is also likely to encourage more competition and allow for greater innovation in the telecom space.
Industry 4.0 innovations can be advanced by the Cabinet’s decision to permit the development and setup of Private Networks. It will further benefit machine communications, IoT, and AI, just to name a few.
The healthcare, automotive, energy, agriculture, & other sectors will all benefit from the advances made possible by Private Captive Networks. All in all, this is an exciting development that holds much promise for the future. It is one that we should all keep a close eye on.
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