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5G services arriving soon? Rollout likely in August, says telecom secretary

The rollout of 5G services in India is likely to start in August after the auctions get concluded in July

Department of Telecommunications | 5G spectrum | 5G in India

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

5G network
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the auction of airwaves capable of offering fifth-generation or 5G telecom services.

The rollout of services in India is likely to start in August after the auctions get concluded in July, Telecom secretary K Rajaraman said on Thursday while speaking at an industry event.

He said, "The government has announced the spectrum auctions, and the rollout is expected from August this year."

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the auction of airwaves capable of offering fifth-generation or telecom services at reserve prices recommended by the (DoT). The government also gave its nod to setting up private captive 5G networks.

The auction of over 72 GHz of spectrum will start on July 26.

Also Read | Mega 5G spectrum auction gets Cabinet nod: What lies ahead for stakeholders

Rajaraman's statement comes after Union Minister of Communications, Ashwini Vaishnaw, on Thursday said that India will get a full-fledged 5G service by March 2023.

"India has its own stack of 4G like radio, equipment and handset. 4G is ready to deploy in the field and 5G is ready in the lab, and 5G will be ready to deploy in March 2023," Vaishnaw told ANI in an interview.

The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) will use the mid and high band spectrum to rollout 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities that would be nearly ten times more than what current 4G services provide, a statement by the Communications Ministry read.

The announcement for the 5G rollout comes despite protests from telecom firms who do not want the spectrum to be allocated to private enterprises for captive networks. The Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) had said that the spectrum should remain with TSPs.

However, the DoT favoured selling the 5G spectrum to private players for their captive networks for use in campuses like factories, hotels and universities.

Captive networks are isolated networks in which a spectrum is assigned to enterprises to be utilised within a limited geographic area. Therefore, it is also referred to as a spectrum for localised or local use.

COAI, in a letter to Vaishnaw, had said that there is 'no business case for the rollout of 5G networks' if captive private wireless networks are allowed.

However, the Cabinet permitted enterprises to run captive private networks with direct spectrum allocation by the DoT.

It has also allowed enterprises to lease spectrum from service providers to run a network.

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First Published: Fri, June 17 2022. 09:12 IST