Telecom operators get six-month 5G trial extension – the New Indian Express
NEW DELHI: Telecommunications service providers received major relief as the Ministry of Telecommunications (DoT) decided to grant a six-month extension to conduct 5G trials until May 2022.
It comes after Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio recently wrote to the DoT, citing concerns about preparation and clarity on several fronts, to extend the trial period.
“The DoT has extended 5G trials for a period of six months, as requested by operators. This decision is going well for everyone, ”a telecommunications official told TNIE on condition of anonymity. In May of this year, the government allocated spectrum to telecommunications companies in the 700 MHz band, 3.3-3.6 gigahertz (Ghz) band and 24.25-28.5 Ghz band for trials at various sites for six months. The current trial period was scheduled to end on November 26.
At present, the DoT is also working with the Telecom Regulatory Authority India, to research the base price recommendations. Based on the current reserve price, telecom operators would have to pay Rs 50,000 crore to acquire 100 MHz of 5G spectrum in the 3.3-3.6 GHz band, which is needed on average to deploy 5G technology.
This extended testing is likely to delay the commercial deployment of 5G in India, as it will delay the long-awaited spectrum auction process.
According to an analyst from a leading consulting firm, the extension pushes the auction back to the second half of 2022. This would mean that a commercial rollout could only take place in early 2023. “Given the financial situation current, the lack of preparation and the absence of a widespread trial by a major player, the government could consider granting an extension, ”he said, on condition of anonymity.