Earlier this year, the Indian government officially confirmed its plans to conduct 5G spectrum auctions in the country sometime in 2022. In the same announcement, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed that the commercial 5G rollout is expected within 2022-2023. Now, a new PTI report quoting the Indian Minister of Communications reassures that the spectrum auction is on schedule.
5G Spectrum Auction in India on Schedule
According to the PTI report, India’s Minister of Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the 5G spectrum auction in India is on schedule and within the stipulated timeline. Speaking to reporters at the second national conference on cybercrime investigation and digital forensics, Vaishnaw said the 5G auction would “absolutely” be held as per the schedule.
The development comes at a time when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s recommendations for 5G spectrum pricing are facing a delay. Originally expected before March 2022, the recommendations are not out as of the first week of April. Given the urgency of the matter, we could expect TRAI to release the recommendations this month.
According to PTI’s report quoting a senior TRAI official on March 29, the recommendations are set to come out within 10 days. That essentially translates to April 8 as the deadline for the recommendations. That said, we will have to wait to see if the recommendations are published by the end of the week.
While we are still waiting for 5G auctions, telecom operators, including Airtel, have been conducting trials in various regions of India. Meanwhile, the government hopes for the initial 5G launch by August 15 and has asked TRAI to speed up the 5G spectrum pricing.