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Vodafone Idea Readying India-Specific 5G, But Time Not Ripe For Spectrum Auction

On the one hand the country’s largest telecom operator Vodafone Idea (VIL) is partnering with global vendors for deployment of 5G, and on the other it says, spectrum auction should not be held before next year.

The company said the telecom industry still needs time to develop India-specific use cases for the next-generation technology and right now the industry needs to focus on the current network.

Asked whether the company is in favor of spectrum auction this year, Vishant Vora, Chief Technology Officer, VIL said that it has the capability of near-5G services even with its current spectrum holding.

“The 2020 and spectrum issue is different. It is not about us running out of spectrum. It is more related to developing India-specific use cases for 5G. And given the current focus on giving high-speed broadband services across the vast geography of India, we believe the industry needs to stay focused on that mission and 5G is something much more suitable that can come after 2020,” he said.

Vora declined to comment on whether the company would participate in the auctions if they were to be held this year. Meanwhile, he said, the company was working on network integration at a faster pace so that the consumers can enjoy uninterrupted services, and it will be done much earlier than the deadline.

Merger update

“We, at the time of the merger, had said it will take three years for completing the integration of the network. We have since then revised that estimate and said we will complete this by June 2020, which is half the time. We are on track for that,” he said.

The company as of now has completed radio network integration in nine circles, covering 481 million of consumers, in only five months. Customers of both Vodafone and Idea brands are now able to enjoy a unified network experience on 2G, 3G and 4G, Vora added.―The Hindu Business Line

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