COAI Urging Government to Hold 5G Spectrum Auction Late in 2019

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) which represents all the big telcos of the country has remarked that the government should hold the auction for 5G spectrum in the second half of 2019. They cited a reason for this demand saying that the buffer time period would allow them to have more insight on how the market is going to evolve in the coming months. Not only this, the telcos would use this time frame for exploring possible revenue sources for the fifth-generation technology. Director General, Rajan Matthews said that the pricing of the spectrum in the upcoming auction would be a “critical component of the success of these auctions.”


It is notable that the premium 700 Mhz spectrum which will be put up for auction again, was also up for selling in the 2016 auctions. However, because of the exorbitant price, the spectrum could not find any bidders. Matthews further added that the growing financial unrest in the industry has added to the woes of the telcos.

Telecom Secretary, Aruna Sundarajan who heads the Telecom Commission, the highest authority in the telecom sector in India, also gave her word saying that India wants to be ahead of other developed nations in the rollout of the 5G technology. The delay would result in a scenario which would be similar to what happened in the case of 3G and 4G rollout. This mission is of strategic importance for the government.

The Department of Telecommunications is also keen on fastening the process of auction. To speed up the roll out of the fifth-generation technology and to study its applications and technicalities, the department has setup up a panel comprising secretaries of the Telecom Department, IT and Electronics Ministry and Science and Technology Department. As much as 6,000 Mhz of the spectrum has been deemed available for the rollout of 5G.

The government is highly aware about the applications of the new technology and is gearing up for massive deployment of 5G in sectors like the Internet of Things (IoT), healthcare, education and e-governance.

Matthews said to PTI as “Most critical things is emerging use cases…where are the best revenue opportunities…Also what is government’s national policy on 5G…e-health, e-commerce, e-governance, e-education…because the government will be pushing to ensure that those are the services that will be necessary…these will be the most important aspects that the industry will watch out for.”

Although, Matthews admitted to the wider application and the fantastic opportunities which the 5G technology would present he also showed concerns about the present financial condition of the industry. With a total debt of Rs 7.7 lakh crores, the industry has shown a serious decline in profits and revenue because of cutthroat competition between the carriers.

He added to his statement “You also have to address the financial health of the industry to be able to allow operators to afford investments in the spectrum. Unless you allow the industry to get back on their feet…who is going to lend to the industry for spectrum?”

Now it remains to be seen how the telcos gear up for the adoption of 5G technology. The news of the upcoming auctions, point towards the fact that the telcos would have to be prepared financially and technologically to inculcate the fifth-generation service into their existing infrastructure.

Reported By

Leave a Reply

70 Comments on "COAI Urging Government to Hold 5G Spectrum Auction Late in 2019"


Sort by:   newest | oldest
June 23, 2018 11:45 pm 11:45 PM

Scraped both airtel and Jio for data. Bough a decent broadband connection 10mbps ul for rs 600 and I felt inner piece.
Now Jio only for calling and occational data. Airtel is not good in MH so scrapped it completely.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 24, 2018 3:10 am 3:10 AM

Great. How do you find Idea in Maharashtra?

Maratha | Pune
June 24, 2018 9:05 am 9:05 AM

Idea 3G used to be great before advent of Jio. Now I find the network choked and speeds pathetic.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 24, 2018 12:19 pm 12:19 PM

What about Idea 4G? It’s excellent in Pune.

Maratha | Pune
June 24, 2018 1:55 pm 1:55 PM

Not in congested areas it isn’t. I tried in Navi Peth, Tilak Road and Sinhagad Road. Disappointed.

June 24, 2018 8:25 am 8:25 AM

@nikhil Why do you ask everyone the same question – about idea in Maharashtra ?

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 24, 2018 12:20 pm 12:20 PM

@Dragonmonk : Where do you stay?

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 24, 2018 9:17 am 9:17 AM

I won’t mind using Airtel if it’s having good coverage and good offers. But with its pathetic 4G coverage. I have been to Nashik/Dhule/Konkan for last fifteen days and coverage has been pathetic. Idea has served me well. Even Jio and Vodafone have better coverage than Airtel. I am certainly not happy about it.Because I really don’t want to go to 250Rs/GB again.

Maratha | Pune
June 25, 2018 9:27 am 9:27 AM

Airtel sucks if you’re moving, say traveling. Most definitely. If you’re at one place, they are giving good speeds recently.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 25, 2018 4:49 pm 4:49 PM

Recently they deploying Band 40 in Pune. That’s why more speeds. But coverage wise Idea is good,really good.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 24, 2018 9:11 am 9:11 AM

Though in last two months,due to deployment of band 40 speeds have increased but not coverage.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 24, 2018 9:10 am 9:10 AM

Because despite of having good coverage people prefer Airtel.I don’t like fanboyism.

Kaushik IMA
June 24, 2018 12:26 pm 12:26 PM

Nikhil airtel pays people for positive articles and comments on media sites. Using the initials SW to avoid any legal trouble for TT staff but you can go over there and see.

June 23, 2018 2:38 pm 2:38 PM

I am surprised, certain veterans who hold good knowledge reply to j..ks like Airtel lover, Kirti, dragon monks. Once this dragon monk just irritated me and I stopped responding to his comments. I suggest other people like Kaushik, Kiran, sunny etc to do so. Ignorance is best remedy for such people. Nikhil pune should exercise caution, he is too slowly falling in same bucket… he is good guy and enthusiastic but write all junk…

Kirti Delhi
June 23, 2018 5:28 pm 5:28 PM
@Chetan since 2-3 weeks I’ve also been avoiding you in the first place, Your anti airtel posts tells everyone how much you got filled with hate inside you though you’re using Airtel. If you wanna Airtel to fail then it’s you fantasy which probably won’t happen but if it does somehow Do you know how badly it’d affect our economy. I never said Jio4G to get shut down. I only complain about its speed because i expect them to improve & have another option to be used alongside Airtel. Though you’ve no idea about that lets put that this way… Read more »
June 23, 2018 7:28 pm 7:28 PM
For @Kirti , I would like to recall my earlier comment in Moto G6 article regarding me switching from Airtel to Jio recently…. guys, i am finally on Jio with my primary no. after a gap of 8 months since i had issues with Jio earlier on call drops and went to Airtel. Airtel is hopeless in Karnataka now with ever increasing load of customers getting consolidated from small operators into Jio and Airtel.. In Airtel, sometimes calls are just rubbish and it is very irritating. With Jio atleast calls issue is sorted, i traveled from my office yesterday around… Read more »
Girish Gowda | BengaLuru
June 23, 2018 6:19 pm 6:19 PM

Also, idk if Chetan uses Airtel, but you have already admitted to using JIO for almost 2 years just for the cheap plans which you couldn’t find in Airtel. You keep using Jio and still badmouth it. That makes you look like whatever you’re calling others buddy. Pot, kettle and all that.

Girish Gowda | BengaLuru
June 23, 2018 6:16 pm 6:16 PM
Woah. Calling names and abusing others AND bringing me in who isn’t even mentioned? I don’t know Chetan and none of us here are “friends” and I think Nikhil should stop with all that nonsensical exclamation points which don’t get the point through. But none of them are a propaganda artist like yourself or Chinamonk. Maybe you think Chinamonk is your bff or lover, but buddy I have some news for you and you should sit down. Never go against your country just for friendship or love. Chinamonk is always against India in every breath he takes. Nothing is more… Read more »
June 24, 2018 3:51 pm 3:51 PM

@GG Posts like the above are why people bring up your name. Sounds like a drunk comment. Please stay to the point if you want people to take you seriously.

Maratha | Pune
June 24, 2018 9:07 am 9:07 AM

I think you must have a habit of bringing Nationalism everywhere, even if your chaiwala forgets to put sugar in tea you will accuse him of hating India and loving Britain.

Kirti Delhi
June 23, 2018 7:27 pm 7:27 PM
He uses airtel may be secondary or whatever if you went through some 2-3 previous pages you’d know, he said in a comment. -Now I was spending over a thousand Rupees on 5-10 GB data & calls before 2016. Its not a shame to admit EVERYONE headed to Jio for saving their pockets. You’d not be pointing fingers on anyone for that. Okay? I gave it time to get the problem solved but it didn’t i ported. -I don’t take responsibility for anyone whatever they’re here for I’m an individual telco user. This is my first reply to you after… Read more »
Kaushik IMA
June 24, 2018 2:23 am 2:23 AM


To this day I do not have a single jio number.

Even when jio first came I stuck with Rcom…. Later when Rcom was winding up I shifted to airtel (big mistake)…. Secondary number was idea at the time, now Vodafone. Finally Idea became primary…. Another port to begin after merger maybe.

Hehe 🙂

Kirti Delhi
June 24, 2018 3:04 pm 3:04 PM

Don’t tell me you didn’t get a pair of Jio Sims back in freeloading days! 😀

Kaushik IMA
June 24, 2018 4:34 pm 4:34 PM

No Kirti I didn’t. I got sims and even JioFi for my friends but I never used Jio.

Kirti Delhi
June 24, 2018 11:07 pm 11:07 PM

Then you must be the loyal vodadone user. Let’s see what happens on Monday, DoT got the legal suggestions about spectrum fees, they’d raise the demand tomorrow hopefully.

Saket Kewate
June 22, 2018 11:28 pm 11:28 PM

Another baseless statement by coai. By doing these they think that they can breath easily .