Cabinet approves 5G spectrum auction; 72 GHz spectrum to be put on sale in July
The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has approved a proposal of the Department of Telecommunications to conduct spectrum auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to the public and enterprises.
5G services, which will be about 10 times faster than 4G, will be rolled out soon, said a government notification on Wednesday, adding that over 72 GHz of Spectrum will be auctioned for a period of 20 years.
Digital connectivity has been an important part of the policy initiatives of the government through its flagship programs such as Digital India, Start-up India, Make in India, etc.
The statement read, “A total of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction to be held by the end of July 2022. The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz), and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.”
The 4G ecosystem created in the country is now leading to 5G indigenous development. The 5G test bed setup in 8 top technology institutes of India is speeding up the launch of domestic 5G technology in India. The PLI (Production-Linked Incentives) schemes for mobile handsets, and telecom equipment and the launch of the India Semiconductor Mission are expected to help build a strong ecosystem for the launch of 5G services in India.
The government also said it would hold the 5G spectrum auction by the end of July. The auction is expected to see participation from the country’s three main carriers Reliance Industries’ (RIL) Jio, Bharti Airtel Ltd, and Vodafone Idea (Vi). The bidders would be given an option to surrender the spectrum after 10 years with no future liabilities with respect to balance installments.
The spectrum auction will be benefitted by the Telecom Sector Reforms announced in September 2021. “The reforms include zero Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) on the spectrum acquired in the upcoming auction, providing a significant relief to the service providers in terms of the operating cost of telecom networks,” the govt release added.
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