The private telecom operators have been working for months now to upgrade their networks and make them 5G ready. 5G trials have also been going on for quite some time now and multiple new innovate use-cases have been discovered already. Much recently, Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s telecom minister made a call over 5G network at the IIT Madras. This was quite a breakthrough for India and something positive for the telecom sector as well.
But the hard truth is, we are still months away from seeing first commercial 5G network being rolled out in India. The Cabinet approval for the spectrum auction recommendations is yet to come. Once that arrives, DoT (Department of Telecommunications) will start preparing for the spectrum auctions.
Which Cities to Get 5G in India?
The DoT had earlier said that 5G networks would be first launched in 13 cities of the country. These are most likely going to be the cities where the 5G trials are already going on. The telcos are expected to soft launch the commercial 5G networks and see the response they get and then expand to the other cities and circles.
Even if the telcos wanted to, they couldn’t launch 5G networks in every part of the country. First of all, the cost would be too huge and second, they would require a ready infrastructure everywhere which is not the case for most parts of India.
The fact of the matter is, we don’t even know the kind of participation the telcos will make in the 5G spectrum auction. On top of that, there’s no hard evidence or development that 5G spectrum auction would take place in June-July 2022 only.
The government has a very ambitious goal of seeing live 5G networks in India by August 15, 2022. However, that is very unlikely given the pace at which things are unfolding in the country.