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5G Spectrum Auction: India Govt Targets 2019-End

India Government is likely to conduct the auction for selling the spectrum for 5G services in the second half of 2019, PTI reported.

This will be a good news for telecom operators such as BSNL, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio. The current financial situation does not allow mobile service providers to make investment in 5G spectrum and 5G networks.

Mobile equipment makers such as Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, ZTE and Samsung and chipset companies such as Intel, Qualcomm and MediaTek are considering India as one of the potential 5G markets in the future.

Telecom markets such as Italy and UK have already conducted 5G spectrum auction. The US will be conducting 5G spectrum auction in November 2018. Germany is planning to conduct 5G spectrum auction shortly.

“Right now, 5G allocation is looking to happen in later half of next year,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Sunday in Bangalore.

TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has already shared its recommendations on the reserve price for 5G spectrum.

As long as monetisation avenues and opportunities are properly identified, rollout would not take long because there is no requirement for replacing hardware as it was done to upgrade from 3G to 4G services, Aruna Sundararajan said.

GSMA in its latest 5G research report said Asia Pacific would become the world’s largest 5G region by 2025. 5G markets such as Australia, China, Japan and South Korea will be driving the 5G subscriber growth in Asia Pacific.

5G networks in these markets will be going live beginning next year. Asia region will have 675 million 5G connections by 2025, more than half of the global 5G total expected by that point.

TRAI earlier recommended pan India base price of Rs 492 crore per MHz for 5G radiowaves for offering 5G services. The price suggested for 5G spectrum in India is about a third of the 1800 MHz band in 2012.

TRAI recommended that proposed based price of proposed 5G spectrum in 3300-3600 Mhz band should be equal to 30 per cent of the reserve price of 1800 MHz FDD band at about Rs 492 crore per Mhz unpaired spectrum on pan India basis.

Telecom operators will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 9,840 crore on pan-India basis to buy spectrum in 3300-3600 Mhz band as TRAI has suggested that it should be put to auction in the block size of 20 MHz.

TRAI has also recommended a limit of 100 MHz per bidder and also the lock-in period for spectrum in this band for becoming eligible for spectrum trading should be 5 years instead of 2 years applicable for other bands. It has suggested no time bound network roll out obligation for buyers of the potential 5G spectrum. – Telecom Lead

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