India might not see the true potential of 5G if the spectrum pricing is not fair. In simple words, if the spectrum pricing is way more than what telcos can afford, they won’t buy it. Telecom operators in India have already expressed that if they don’t get the necessary 5G spectrum at a fair price, they will not buy it from the government and go ahead with rolling out 5G networks through 4G core using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology. It is worth noting that Bharti Airtel has already given an example of this by making India’s first 5G network live for testing using spectrum in 1800 MHz band with the help of DSS technology in Hyderabad.
DoT to Talk With TRAI for 5G Spectrum Auction Related Issues
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will soon be talking with the sector regulator to take its views on the 5G spectrum auction issues. The spectrum auctions will take place as soon as the telcos are done with their 5G trials.
It is worth noting that the operators are already working very hard to ensure that 5G can be rolled out as soon as they are allotted the necessary airwaves. The only issue is that the spectrum auctions can’t be put in a fixed timeline because of multiple problems.
One problem is the Indian Navy not vacating 100 MHz of airwaves in the 3.3 GHz to 3.6 GHz band. Then there are other problems related to spectrum pricing. The telecom department will be taking views of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to ensure that the pricing of the airwaves is right.
The coveted 700 MHz spectrum band has seen no takers for multiple auctions now because of its very high price band. The department will have to ensure that the 700 MHz spectrum band is introduced in the auctions with a price cut because it is important for the telcos to provide 5G services.