5G

5G Trials Extend Till May 2022 On Telcos’ Request, Spectrum Auction May Be Delayed

5G technology requires four to 10 times as many antennas as 4G. (Image edited by News18.com)

5G technology requires four to 10 times as many antennas as 4G. (Image edited by News18.com)

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has begun the process of commercialising 5G by requesting feedback from telecom regulator TRAI on spectrum auction pricing and procedure.

A major relief has been provided to telecom service providers as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has prolonged the validity of the 5G trial permit to Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, and Bharti Airtel by 6 months, allowing them to conduct 5G experiments until May 2022. “DoT gave an extension for 5G trials for a period of six months. We received a letter from the DoT earlier this week,” an ET report quotes a telecom official as saying.

License for undertaking trials expires on November 26, but industry analysts argued that the 5G ecology needs extra time to test out different services. Six months ago, the DoT allotted 5G trial spectrum to operators in the 3.5 GHz, 26 GHz, and 700 MHz bands. Telecom carriers are using this spectrum to create and test a range of India-specific use cases, either on their own or via strategic alliances and joint ventures.

At the moment, the DoT is also engaging with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to get base pricing suggestions. However, telcos would need to pay Rs 50,000 crore to purchase 100 MHz of 5G spectrum in the 3.3-3.6 GHz band, which is required on average to implement 5G technology, as per the current reserve price which is too expensive according to telcos for them to buy.

This extension of testing is expected to impede India’s commercial 5G deployment, as it would postpone the much-anticipated spectrum auction process which was expected to take place between January and March. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has begun the process of commercialising 5G by requesting feedback from telecom regulator TRAI on spectrum auction pricing and procedure. While there is no clarity on the auction’s scheduling, industry insiders anticipate it will take place between April and June 2022.

The Ministry of Defence presently administers the 3.3-3.4 GHz range, while ISRO holds the remaining of the mid-band. Notably, the mid-band spectrum is still the only band in India that has been “earmarked” for 5G services.

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Source: https://www.news18.com/news/tech/5g-trials-extend-till-may-2022-on-telcos-request-spectrum-auction-may-be-delayed-4431104.html

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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