Next spectrum auction to coincide 5G rollout in H2 '19
18 December 2018
The next round of telecom spectrum auctions will take place along with the roll-out of 5G services planned in the second half of next year, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan has said.
She said the government expects to put in place the necessary ecosystem for 5G services by then, adding that telecom service providers would also be in a position to roll out 5G services if the auctions happen with a ready ecosystem.
Sundararajan was speaking on the sidelines of a workshop with officials of the states and union territories.
“What we are saying is that the ecosystem for 5G services will be ready by the second half of next year, so we will be ready for the spectrum auctions for them. I am here talking only about 5G, and other spectrum auctions can happen simultaneously,” she explained.
“Trai has given preliminary recommendations, which the working committee at the Department of Telecommunications is looking at. The task force has also given a broader set of (spectrum) bands on which we have to work,” Sundararajan said in New Delhi on Monday.
Sundarajan did not say when exactly would the auction or the spectrum rollout will take place, but said preliminary trials would soon start in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Trai had recently recommended auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom radio waves with estimated base price of around Rs4,90,000 crore, including frequencies of 5G services.
The 5G committee of the telecom ministry has said about 6,000 MHz of spectrum can be made available for next-gen mobile services on an immediate basis.
The rollout of 5G services could bring in $120-billion in additional annual revenues for the government and create four-million new jobs by 2022, as per the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP-2018).
The policy also targets to triple the mobile towers to 5 million by 2022 from around 1.8 million at present. However, ‘right of way’ remains a concern and the government will work with State governments on this, she said.
AJ Paulraj, the Stanford University professor who is heading the ‘High Level Forum’ on 5G, is here in India, Sundararajan said, adding there will be a lot of discussions around the NDCP in the next few days.
There will also be a Telecom Commission meet on Thursday to discuss various issues relating to BharatNet and broadband, she added.