5G Launch in India Most Likely to be Delayed Given No Response from Cabinet Yet

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had directed DoT to speed things up so that a commercial launch of 5G networks is possible by August 15, 2022. However, once DoT floats NIA, it would take at least 54 days before the spectrum auction could take place.

Highlights

  • 5G launch in India is likely to be delayed.
  • The Cabinet will take the final call on the spectrum pricing.
  • For the end consumers of telecom services, the delay in 5G launch won’t be a big issue.

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Everyone’s waiting for the 5G launch in India. The telcos have made their networks ready for handling higher demand and have tested multiple innovative use-cases to ensure that they can monetise as fast as possible with commercial 5G rollout. However, given the pace at which the developments are taking place, it is unlikely that the 5G launch in the country would go as planned.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is still waiting for the Cabinet to give its final decision on matters related to spectrum auction. But the Cabinet, which was expected to reply before the end of May, hasn’t announced anything yet. The first week of June is almost over, and until the time there’s a response from the Cabinet, DoT can’t release Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the spectrum auction.

PMO’s Goal Might become an Impossible Dream Soon

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had directed DoT to speed things up so that a commercial launch of 5G networks is possible by August 15, 2022. However, once DoT floats NIA, it would take at least 54 days before the spectrum auction could take place. Since we are already in June and the NIA hasn’t floated, the PMO’s goal is more likely a dream now.

The Cabinet will take the final call on the spectrum pricing and other details revolving around the spectrum auction soon. There’s no fixed date as such for the response from the Cabinet. But DoT is likely to announce the spectrum auction in June itself once the Cabinet decisions arrive, and then within two months, the telcos would have a spectrum auction in their hands.

For the end consumers of telecom services, the delay in the 5G launch won’t be a big issue. The expansion of 4G network coverage throughout the country has ensured that people in India are always connected to the internet and their loved ones via calls.

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