- DoT has received a dozen applications for the 5G trials
- There is also the question whether Huawei will be allowed to participate in auctions or not
- The telcos are facing a financial crunch
The latest technological implementation in the telecom industry right now happens to be the fifth-generation network technology or the 5G network. However, the Indian mobile users might have to wait a little before they get access to 5G network, and the main reason is the delay in the auctions of the 5G spectrum. However, 5G spectrum auction is the next step in the deployment of this technology, before this, the telecom operators have to actually test out the technology as well, which is something that has not happened yet. But, as per a new ET report, the trials for the 5G service might happen in the fourth quarter of the current financial year. With this, the official also added that the spectrum auction is likely to happen in the next year only. More remarks on this came from the telecommunications minister, RS Prasad who said that in the next financial year, the spectrum auction would happen in the March-April period. He also added that the Digital Communications Commissions might soon meet to discuss the reserve prices suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for the 5G spectrum auction.
5G Trials to Happen in Current FY
Also, a senior official has shared his thoughts on the matter saying that the commission is likely to meet on December 20. Under anonymity, the official also said that currently, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering the applications for 5G trials from various telecom operators and gear manufacturers. Another question looming right now is whether or not the Chinese gear manufacturer, Huawei should be allowed to participate in the 5G spectrum auction. He also added on the same lines that the 5G spectrum auction might happen in the January-March quarter of the current financial year. The official also informed that the DoT has received as many as 12 applications for the 5G trials and has so far not disallowed any of the applications that has come its way.
Telecom Operators Say Reserve Prices are Too High
It is worth noting that the Modi led government had set a roadmap for conducting 5G trials in the current financial year only with the 5G spectrum auction also happening in the current FY as well. But, with many hurdles afflicting the telecom industry right now, the roadmap has not been adhered to. Majorly, the burden that is affecting the telecom industry right now is of a financial kind. The telecom operators and the industry, in general, has been under massive debt which has become an obstruction for the companies to invest in 5G or 4G spectrum. Hence, these companies have requested the government to delay the 5G auction so that they can participate properly in the sale of the airwaves when it happens.
AGR Issue Increases Troubles
The industry is currently under the debt of Rs 7 lakh crore and has also said that the reserve prices that were recommended by the telecom regulator for the sale of airwaves was too high and an unbearable cost for the telecom operators. The telecom companies had also noted that the quantum of the spectrum which is being put up for sale is not sufficient since a large chunk of that has already been allocated to defence. Since then, the troubles of telecom companies have only increased with the Supreme Court ruling on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) and putting an additional pressure of Rs 1.4 lakh crore on the telecom companies on the account of license fees, spectrum usage charges, interests and penalties which these telcos have to pay in the next three months.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.