US Federal Communications Commission Chairman said that the Indian government needs to auction 5G spectrum at a reasonable price for local telecom operators. Ajit Pai also said that both India and the US need to quickly move together on 5G.
“Our suggestions might be to follow some of the market-based strategies, for example, to allow flexible use of spectrum and not to prescribe what particular applications or services that spectrum must be used for and let the market decide that…also to hold free and open spectrum auctions with relatively reasonable reserve prices to enable spectrums’ deployment to the highest value to the user,” Pai said at the U.S.-India multi-stakeholder webinar.
The official said that he held discussions with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman R.S. Sharma and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash on various issues including spectrum and 5G.
“…during my visit to India in February, I had a good discussion with Indian officials about our 6 GHz efforts, so I know that India is interested in exploring the possibilities of unlicensed use in this band,” he said.
Pai added that he is eager to work with his Indian counterparts and other leaders around the world to harness the benefits of the 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi and then work together toward global harmonisation of this spectrum,” the senior Indian-American official said.
He also urged Indian telecom stakeholders to be active in speaking to regulatory officials and policymakers about the importance of pushing ahead on next-generation 5G networks. “The key is to be very very fast and it is important to press upon officials Indian to emphasise on the need for speed.”
5G Collaboration Must
Pai also stressed upon deeper collaboration between both the countries on 5G and security. “5G is embedded in almost every aspect of our society from transportation to hospital to power grid. Securing our networks become important and difficult as attacks on these services become broader.”
Pai also praised Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm for being a ‘clean telco’ and not using telecom equipment from Chinese vendors like Huawei.
Jio President Mathew Oommen also said that the telecom operator is ensuring that its telecom network is not contaminated. "End-to-end network including 5G, AI, cloud, IoT, SoC, devices, and applications...all these things together should be looked from a security perspective. India brings scale. We have 4 million radio heads. The scale brings innovation and security is embedded in the end to end portfolio," Mathews said during the U.S.-India Multi-stakeholder webinar.