Captive private 5G networks have become the talk of the town. The government, at the end of the day, has decided to side with the tech companies by allowing them to get the airwaves directly from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for setting up private 5G networks. The telcos have now requested the government to ensure that the private 5G networks are only allowed to be set up by the “end users”. The telcos don’t want any third-party companies to be involved in this as it would give these other companies a backdoor entry into telecom services, said an ET Telecom report.
Third-Party Companies Should Also Get Spectrum from DoT
On June 18, 2022, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) wrote to the telecom secretary, K Rajaraman and said that if the third-party companies want to provide, install and operate captive private networks, they should be asked to get the spectrum from the auctions just the way telcos do.
COAI is the representative body of the Indian private telcos, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio. The industry body was against the concept of administratively allocating the airwaves to the enterprises for private 5G.
The operators believe that it is a loss of revenue for them as the enterprises won’t require them to set up private 5G networks anymore. The date for the spectrum auction is July 26, 2022. The telcos aren’t expected to bid too heavily given the steep pricing and the fact that their enterprise revenues are in potential danger.
The tech bodies believe that the telcos will still have other areas to help and make money even if they are not directly setting up the enterprise captive private 5G network. The governments of multiple countries are allowing the enterprises to directly get the spectrum for setting up private 5G networks, and the same will happen in India as well.