If India wants to lead the 5G revolution, the government needs to lower the reserve price for the 5G spectrum. Sanjay Malik, VP and country head, Nokia, said that 5G should be deployed straight-away, and the testing should be skipped by the telcos. He noted that both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network architectures have already been deployed around the globe, while India hasn’t even started testing 5G. In the previous three years, around 144 telecom operators globally have deployed 5G commercially and have over 200 million users on their networks. Since more and more 5G devices have also launched in the market and many more are slated to come very soon, the government needs to act fast.
Reduce Reserve Price for 5G Spectrum
This is something the operators, and basically, the whole industry, has been asking the government to do. The telcos have expressed in the past that the current reserve prices for the 5G spectrum are way too high, and it would be impossible to roll out 5G commercially in the country if the rates weren’t reduced.
According to an ET Telecom report, going with the current reserve price, the telcos would need to shell out $7.4 billion per 100 MHz of 5G spectrum pan-India.
Private Indian telcos have already said that their network is 5G ready, and they are only waiting for the government to take actions. If the government delays any further, India might miss the 5G train and get behind other nations like in the case of 4G.
Once 5G is rolled out commercially, more and more use cases of the technology will appear, and its demand will increase, believes Malik. It is worth noting that Nokia became the first manufacturer to produce 5G radio equipment in India at its Chennai facility in December 2020.
Malik said that Nokia is ready to partner and work with the industry to ensure a faster 5G rollout in the country.