DoT Issues Show Cause Notices to Vodafone Idea, Adani Data Networks for 5G Rollout Delays: Report

Vodafone Idea and Adani Data Networks may face penalties for failing to meet 5G rollout obligations, as the Department of Telecommunications issues show cause notices.

Highlights

  • DoT issues show cause notices for Vi and Adani Data Networks.
  • Vi and Adani may face fines of Rs 14 crore and Rs 5-6 crore, respectively.
  • Both companies yet to launch 5G services commercially even after a year.

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DoT Issues Show Cause Notices to Vodafone Idea, Adani Data Networks for 5G Rollout Delays: Report
Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Adani Group's Adani Data Networks have been issued show-cause notices by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) as to why fines should not be levied on them for failing to meet Minimum Rollout Obligations (MRO) related to 5G Spectrum in India. The DoT has also sent notices to both companies, asking them to furnish the reasons for the delay in the 5G rollout and the timelines by which they will launch services, according to an FE Report.

Also Read: Vodafone Idea 5G Live at Select Places in Pune and Delhi




Penalties

Vodafone Idea may be facing a fine of around Rs 14 crore, and Adani Data Networks could be slapped with a penalty of about Rs 5-6 crore, the report quoted officials as saying.

Delayed 5G Rollouts

The obligations, requiring commercial 5G service launches in both metro and non-metro circles within the first year, have not been met by either company more than a year later. Both companies are yet to launch 5G services commercially even in a single city in the country. Adani Data Networks plans to deploy its spectrum for private captive networks for its data usage in ports and logistics, power generation, etc., rather than consumer mobility.

Footer 5G

In August 2023, Vodafone Idea claimed to have made minimal investments in two out of 17 circles but has yet to launch services commercially. So far, there is no official 5G announcement from Vodafone Idea.

However, the footer on Vi's website says, “Get ready to experience the potential of the Vi 5G network in India with 5G live at select places in Pune and Delhi. Seamless connectivity with Vi 5G ready SIM." TelecomTalk reported the same in November 2023.

Vodafone Idea on its website also listed eligible prepaid and postpaid plans for availing its 5G services in the select locations where 5G services are available.

Also Read: Breaking: Vodafone Idea Lists Eligible Postpaid and Prepaid Plans for 5G and Live Locations

Adani 5G Spectrum Holdings

As reported by TelecomTalk, in the 5G spectrum auctions held in July 2022, Adani Data Networks acquired the right to use 400MHz of spectrum in the 26 GHz (millimetre waves) band in the auction for Rs 212 crore. Adani has acquired spectrum in six circles, namely, Andhra Pradesh (50MHz), Gujarat (100MHz), Karnataka (50MHz), Mumbai (100MHz), Rajasthan (50 MHz), and Tamil Nadu (50 MHz), in places of its business interests.

As reported by TelecomTalk, Vodafone Idea and Adani Data Networks had also sought an extension of the August 16, 2023, deadline for meeting the minimum obligation to launch 5G services.

"Needless to say, our intent is to not only look at doing the MRO (minimum rollout obligation) thing; we would want to roll out a commercial network," Vodafone Idea CEO Akshaya Moondra had said in August. "If we look at the 15 circles where we have not rolled out currently, over a period of 26 weeks, this amount (penalty) is up to the order of about Rs 12 crore to Rs 13 crore," Moondra added.

Also Read: Vodafone Idea and Adani Seek More time from Govt to Launch 5G: Report

5G in India

In India, currently, only Airtel and Jio are offering commercial 5G services, with Jio announcing the completion of the 5G rollout PAN India ahead of schedule, whereas Airtel has already announced its plans to complete the same by March 2024. Jio recently announced that its 5G is available across India with over 90 million users on its 5G Network. Combined 5G subscribers on Airtel and Jio networks have reportedly exceeded 150 million, according to industry estimates.

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