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5G Spectrum: Telecom Companies Differ On Pricing Suggested By Regulator

It has been over 9 years from the launch of 4G services in India and now the domestic companies are gearing up to launch 5G services. It seems that the telecom companies are in a situation of disagreement with regard to the decided prices of the 5G spectrum. Earlier in March this year, there were reports which revealed that the spectrum allocation for 5G trial and subsequent field experiments are likely to begin after June. Further, the spectrum allocation may initiate after September this year.

According to an ET report, the telecom giants such as Bharti Airtel and the newly-amalgamated Vodafone Idea are opposing the 5G spectrum prices suggested by the telecom regulator and have requested them to be decreased, while the disruptive telecom venture Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is believed to be supporting auction time and spectrum prices. The three-player led Indian telecom industry has an existing debt of nearly Rs 8 lakh crore and is sceptical whether they would be able to afford the 5G spectrum at the suggested prices by the government.

“In any auction in the future, Bharti Airtel will participate to pick up small chunks of 4G spectrum in certain circles. On 5G, it will depend on the pricing, which we hope will be set at prices which encourage more investments in networks rather than spectrum purchase,” ET reported citing an unnamed Airtel spokesperson.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is believed to be in the conclusive stage in the process of drafting the Notice Inviting Application or bid documents for the 5G spectrum auction and appointing an online auctioneer. The government is likely to speed up the rollout and wind up 5G spectrum auction within this year in order to maintain the pace with global corporations.―Times Now

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