The telecom department or DoT is in talks with Indian telecom players like Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications and other major companies including ONGC and Indian Oil Corporation to vacate the spectrum that they hold in the 3,300-3,400 Mhz band so as to use it to launch 5G services within this range.
5G airwaves would be sold for the first time in India through auctions. DoT has notified that,“All existing licensees in 3,300-3,400 Mhz are required to vacate the spectrum within six months from the date of issue of this notice.” It has also been announced that no new assignments would be taken up in the 3,300-3,400 MHz band and permission of renewal of existing licences will also not be granted.
Indian Government is taking a number of initiatives to ensure that the country plays a prominent role in 5G and the technology is launched along with other developed nations. Operators like Airtel are already conducting a number of tests and trials to prepare themselves for 5G era.
The government has also requested from the various telecom operators to suggest reserve price of airwaves ranging in between 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,500-3,600 Mhz for rendering upcoming 5G services. Furthermore, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will determine rights to use spectrum, quantum of spectrum and other band-related conditions categorically.
According to a Bharti Airtel official the company has already surrendered airwaves in this spectrum band. Reliance Communication, on the other hand, has said that the services in this band have been shut down completely. While companies like Tata Communications and Aircel have to still make official announcement clarifying their status.
The Indian government wants 5G auctions to take place somewhere in the start of next financial year (2019-2020) due to the current monetary deficits. But, it is also evident this would let Indian market to access 5G services in neck-to-neck with the contemporary world by 2020.