5G spectrum auction likely in April-May 2022: Ashwini Vaishnaw


While the relief measures announced in September this year for telecommunications operators marked the first round of reforms, the government will put in place a series of new reforms and “the regulatory structure of telecommunications is expected to change within 2-3 next few years, ”Vaishnaw said.

Speaking at the ‘Times Now Summit 2021’, the minister said India’s regulation of the telecommunications sector should be compared to the best in the world, and added that “we will therefore propose a series of reforms in this area, from so that the global benchmark of regulations is achieved in India “.

Regarding the 5G auction schedule, Vaishnaw noted that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), which is reviewing the auction structure, is in the process of consulting on it.

“I think they will submit their report by mid-February, that’s what we think, maybe at the end of February, at the most until the maximum in March. Immediately after that we will have the auction,” he said. he declared.

The comment is gaining importance as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) previously hoped to hold 5G auctions by the end of the current fiscal year.

Giving a precise timeline for the next auction will be difficult at this point as it depends a lot on how long Trai will take to finalize his point of view, the minister added.

“But, today, our estimate is April-May. I estimate March earlier. But, I think it will take … because the consultations are complex, different opinions are coming in …” , did he declare.

The government wants auctions to be technologically neutral and wants to offer consistent spectrum for many years to come.

“So 4G can be used for that, 5G can be used. So it’s a thinking based not only on the short term, but rather on thinking at least 5-10 years in advance,” he said. he declared.

It should be recalled that the DoT approached Trai for his recommendations on pricing, quantum and other radio wave modalities in multiple bands, as he sets the stage for holding 5G spectrum auctions in the coming months.

The DoT benchmark seeks views from Trai on base price, quantum and all other modalities for spectrum across multiple bands. These include bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz as well as bands 3300-3 600 MHz (which were not auctioned during of the last turn) and millimeter wave band (i.e. 24.25-28.5 GHz).

The last spectrum auction round, held in March of this year, brought in over ??77,800 crore for 855.6 MHz of spectrum.

Vaishnaw said that with the major reforms for telecom operators outlined in September, the government expects the industry to focus on increasing investment 2-4 times, reaching the unconnected and by improving the quality of service.

“See the drop in calls … classic case, the drop in calls because the investment in the sector is very low, this investment must go to 2-4 X. This is what we need”, did he declare.

The regulatory structure of telecommunications is expected to change in the next 2-3 years, and the “first fundamental change” has already occurred, he said, highlighting the sector reforms unveiled recently.

“In fact, the industry is saying that whatever was done in the September reforms, itself takes some time to absorb and adapt based on it, because business plans will have to change the whole thing. fundamental industry structure change, ”he said.

The telecommunications sector, as such, has had a boost with the recent government approval of a large-scale assistance plan that includes a four-year suspension for companies from paying statutory contributions, the authorization to share rare airwaves, a change in the definition of income on which levies are paid and 100 percent of foreign investments are made automatically. The measures, aimed at relieving telecommunications service providers who have to pay thousands of crore in past unfunded statutory dues, also include the removal of spectrum usage charges (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions. .

Vaishnaw exuded confidence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of having a world-class technology stack in the telecommunications industry will be realized by mid-2023.

“From the start, we imported technology. Today our whole network operates on someone else’s.

“So the fundamental change that’s going to happen is 4G, 5G and 6G, all of this technology stack, the hardware as well as the software, both will be developed in India, proven in India, and then used around the world,” he informed.

This vision has already been achieved for 4G, and 70-75% of the work has been done for the 5G stack.

“The 5G stack is 70-75% ready. By February, we should have the entire 5G software stack ready.

“Production-related incentives for telecom manufacturing … 35 manufacturers have already taken advantage of this and are setting up factories. 6G to begin with, this whole process … process of thinking, conceptualizing, this task has already been entrusted, “he added.

This story was posted from an agency feed with no text editing. Only the title has been changed.

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