Private 5G networks stirred a lot of conversation in the last few months. This is majorly because the government said that enterprises could set up their own private 5G network by purchasing the spectrum. Tech companies would love to pounce on this opportunity and help the enterprises with their private 5G, eating up the market of the telcos. The telecom operators have a big problem with this. Regardless, the government has decided to give the enterprises spectrum for private 5G if they need it.
But things aren't as simple as this. Many companies such as Tata Power, Capgemini, Larsen & Toubro, Infosys, Tata Communications and more have applied for the direct allocation of 5G airwaves. This is to build their own private networks. But the companies won't get the spectrum right now. The ET Telecom report suggests that DoT (Department of Telecommunications) is currently testing the demand for the spectrum to be used for setting up private networks.
Applicants for the Spectrum Won't Receive it Right Now
The applications received by the private companies would enable the telecom department to assess the demand for the private 5G spectrum. Thus, an application at this stage would not mean that the companies would get the spectrum directly from the telecom department. Private 5G via direct allocation of spectrum to the tech companies is at least two years away, if not more.
It would take time for the government to come out with a detailed policy or rules around how the allocation would work. This would be in contrast to the Supreme Court order, which asked the spectrum to be given to the companies via the auction route. But DoT would come up with a mechanism where it would enable the department to assess the demand for the spectrum and come up with the appropriate cost for it to the private companies.
Until that time or even after that, private enterprises will always have the option to reach out to the telcos to get their private 5G networks set up.