The Department of Telecommunications has said that enterprises who want to apply for the spectrum to set up their own captive private 5G network will need to have a minimum net worth of Rs 100 crore. In addition to this, the applicant must be the occupant of the geographical area where it wants to set up the private 5G network. The enterprises will have to obtain a renewable license of 10 years against a non-refundable application charge of Rs 50,000.
But note that the process of giving spectrum directly to the enterprises won’t happen right away. The DoT will undertake demand studies and then involve the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in the direct assignment of the airwaves to the enterprises. We are still at least two years away from this happening, and thus until then, the enterprises can take the spectrum from the telcos on lease or ask the TSPs (telecom service providers) to set up their private networks.
There are rules for leasing the spectrum that both the telcos and the enterprises will have to follow. To know more about these rules, click here.
Broadband India Forum Not Happy With the Rs 100 Crore Net Worth Criteria
TV Ramachandran, president of the Broadband India Forum (BIF), isn’t happy with the Rs 100 crore net worth criteria that the DoT has implemented for the enterprises to obtain the spectrum. Ramachandran told ET that BIF hopes DoT will relook into its proposal as only a few companies will be able to meet the criteria of having a net worth of Rs 100 crore, and this would hinder the proliferation of captive private 5G networks in India.
The enterprises which can’t meet the criteria can anyway ask the TSPs to set up their captive private 5G networks, or they can lease the spectrum from the TSPs if they need it desperately.