India wants to lead the fifth revolution (which is the digital revolution integrating tech and humans even further) with the help of 5G. Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of RIL, wants India to not miss out on leading from the front when it comes to 5G. However, right now, when countries such as the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) along with multiple other European nations already have tons of live commercial 5G networks, how will India be able to compete and get ahead?
5G In India: When Will Spectrum Auctions Happen, and Networks Will Go Live?
There’s no saying about either. One thing is for sure; spectrum auctions won’t take place this year. It will be only possible either in the first quarter of CY22 or the second quarter. As soon as the telcos get the desired spectrum they are currently testing their 5G networks in; they will be able to launch live commercial 5G networks.
But this won’t happen if the government and the sector regulator doesn’t come up with an affordable base price of the spectrum for the telcos. The operators have already expressed how unfeasible it will be for them to purchase spectrum at such a high base price. Thus, if the base price of the 5G spectrum isn’t reduced, the operators will ignore bidding much in the auction.
Talking about when the networks will go live, it won’t be before the second or third quarter of CY22. Most probably, some of the metro cities where the 5G trials are ongoing might get live 5G networks in the second quarter of CY22.
Telcos’ Can Use 4G Core and Networks for 5G As Well
The telecom operators can also go with the option of using 4G cores with Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology for rolling out live 5G networks. It won’t give users the true potential of 5G; regardless, it should be much faster than the current 4G networks.
Bharti Airtel has done it earlier this year and has also expressed that it can wait for the 5G spectrum for years without worrying too much if the base price of the spectrum is not feasible for an affordable rollout.