Yesterday, the Indian government had approved the telcos to test 13 applications for 5G. For the same, the government will be providing operators with airwaves in the 700 MHz spectrum band for conducting trials. Commenting on the decision, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) chief, Dr SP Kochhar, said that the government must reconsider the pricing of the spectrum for the 5G rollout.
COAI is an industry body that represents the private telcos of India along with other multinational telecom companies from around the globe. Kocchar lauded the government’s decision for allowing the operators to start with the 5G trials so that an early rollout of the next-generation technology can be ensured.
Further, Kocchar said that the 5G trials would empower the operators to validate 5G technologies and its related use cases, including Industry 4.0 applications and Internet-of-Things (IoT). He also said that the government must ‘revisit’ the 5G spectrum pricing.
700 MHz Spectrum Remained Unsold
The telecom service providers (TSPs) of India have been provided with airwaves in the coveted 700 MHz spectrum for proceeding with 5G trials in the country. It is worth noting that none of the operators bid for spectrum in the 700 MHz band because of its unfairly high reserve price.
Even though the 700 MHz band is considered very important for rolling out 5G in India, the telcos didn’t spend anything on it because they want the government to understand that its price is too steep.
The government had slashed the price of the airwaves by a huge margin before the spectrum auctions went live. Regardless, the telcos believe that the price is still very high and it needs to be brought down.
Nokia Appreciates the Beginning of 5G Trials in India
Looking at the development, a Nokia spokesperson said that that the Finnish tech giant is very happy with the government’s decision of starting the 5G trials in the country.
The spokesperson reiterated that Nokia is more than ready to help the operators in conducting 5G trials in both urban and rural areas and implementing their 5G strategy in the country. Nokia is already manufacturing 5G equipment in India at its Chennai facility, and the private operators, including Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi), have decided to take help from the company to conduct 5G trials.