5G Auctions in India May be Delayed to April 2022 Due to Telco Cash Crunch: Report

Image used for representation.

Image used for representation.

5G trials are currently going in India. Authorities had confirmed that Chinese vendors would be kept out of the trials.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently said that the approvals for 5G trials have been given in India and that telecom companies would be allotted a 5G spectrum for the trials. However, a new report states the DoT is not in favour of conducting auctions for 5G airwaves in this financial year due to lack of funds with existing telcos. It essentially means that public auction of bands would take place sometime after April 2022, which further implies the commercial rollout of 5G connectivity would happen later that year or in 2023. Moreover, the report adds that the planning for which waves and bands to put up for auction in the next spectrum will start only after the DoT has studied in detail the reports from the ongoing 5G trials.

According to The Indian Express, telecommunication companies are waiting for the DoT to open up the sale of mid-band spectrums for commercial 5G services. The report citing a senior official states tha 3.2GHz and 3.6GHz spectrums both have coverage and capacity for suitable 5G connectivity, and telcos are likely to wait for that. However, the official indicates that telcos might not have the funds to purchase these new spectrums. “If they (telcos) give notice to us that they want to use the spectrum that they bought in auctions in March, then six months down the line, of course, they can launch commercial services. But, if you come to think of it, why would any telecom company want to use a sub-gigahertz band for 5G. It will neither give them coverage nor the signal quality,” the official told the national daily.

Meanwhile, authorities had confirmed that Chinese vendors would be kept out of the trials, meaning telecom equipment companies including, Huawei, cannot take part in the 5G trials. It is expected that the 5G networks in India will cover 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, as well as the 800MHz and 900MHz bands for commercial rollout. However, the official added that these sub-gigahertz band for 5G would neither give telcos coverage nor the signal quality.

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