5G rollout in India is expected to be delayed further in India. This is because the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is likely to submit the fresh pricing recommendations to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) by March 2022. This means that the spectrum auctions might not take place in the first quarter of FY22.
An official aware of the matter told ET Telecom that 5G spectrum auctions are unlikely to take place between the April-June period as the TRAI will take a little more time than expected for submitting the fresh pricing recommendations to the DoT. The official added that the July timeframe is likely for the spectrum auctions to proceed.
India’s Delay in 5G Not an Issue
While many countries already have live 5G networks, there is no issue that India doesn’t. The more time the telcos get for rolling out 5G, the more use-cases they will be able to develop and test.
Further, there are many things that need to get absolute clarity, such as whether 5Gi will be a part of India’s future network ecosystem or not. Then there is the matter of changing regulatory policies and also a better system for expediting Right of Way (RoW) approvals for a quicker broadband rollout in India.
The 5G spectrum auctions next year will also include the airwaves in the 600 MHz band, which is a first for India. But the reserve price of the airwaves needs to be brought down significantly for the telcos to rollout 5G quicker in India.
A higher than expected airwaves price would push the telcos in the direction of paying attention to 4G only. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), had said that the rollout of ‘5G’ should be made a national priority. 2022 should be the year where at least some parts of India get a live 5G network.