While many countries have already rolled out live 5G networks, Indian telecom operators are still in the testing phase of the next-generation connectivity standard. After the recent announcements from the government, it was expected that the 5G spectrum auctions will take place in the first quarter of 2022 (mostly February). This would have meant that the telecom operators could have launched the live 5G networks by the first half of 2022. But for that to happen, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will have to move on time.
TRAI Will Need to Recommend 5G Spectrum Price in Time
According to an ET Telecom report, for the 5G spectrum auctions to take place in the first quarter of 2022, the regulator will have to come out with the price recommendations by November this year. If there’s any delay in doing so, the spectrum auctions will be pushed ahead. If the spectrum auctions are pushed ahead, it will hurt the telcos’ timeline for coming out with the 5G networks.
For the unaware, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked the sector regulator for recommending fresh prices for the existing 4G and 5G bands. The telecom operators in the past have raised concerns over the expensive pricing of the spectrum bands. Most of all, the government has been unable to excite the operators in buying the very important 700 MHz band spectrum. The reason was its steep pricing.
TRAI will also give recommendations on which mmWave 5G bands will be available for the spectrum auctions and at what price. But the delays caused won’t be too significant. The auctions might be pushed ahead by one month or two against the originally planned date. The telecom operators won’t spend their money on the spectrum that is highly-priced. If they don’t get the 5G bands at desired rates, the operators will just go ahead with the 4G spectrum using the Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology to launch 5G networks.