Almost two months ago, the Indian Government confirmed that the 5G spectrum auctions will be conducted this year, although, a timeline was never fixed. Following this, reports hinted at the auctions commencing in May, but it turns out, there will be a minor delay as the 5G auctions might take place in June.
5G Spectrum Auctions in India Soon?
As per a report by The Economic Times, the telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has suggested that the 5G spectrum auctions will be held in June. However, the exact dates are still under wraps. This comes after the government’s need to start the initial launch of 5G in India, most likely on August 15. The commercial rollout is expected between 2022 and 2023.
It is suggested that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is on schedule and is working towards resolving the spectrum pricing issues. Vaishnaw stated, “For last-mile access, we have to bring reasonable spectrum pricing. We’ll deliberate with a logical method. Spectrum or telecom services has become a public necessity today.“
The report says that the spectrum pricing recommendations will go to the Digital Communications Commission, following which the pricing will go to the Cabinet for final approval.
For those who don’t know, several telecom operators have raised concerns regarding the high spectrum pricing this time. Paying heed to this, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended a base price of Rs 317 crore a unit for airwaves in the premium 3.3-3.67 GHz band. This is around 36% less than what was recommended during previous auctions. The recommended price for the 700MHz spectrum is set to Rs 3,297 crore a unit.
That said, the telecos still deem these prices expensive and expect a 90% cut in the reserve price of 5G airwaves. If that happens, the starting price will be decreased to Rs 49 crore per unit and Rs 657 crore for the 700MHz spectrum.
It remains to be seen what prices are sealed and when exactly the auctions will begin. We expect more details to be confirmed soon. So, stay tuned to this space, and do tell us about your thoughts on the commencement of 5G spectrum auctions in India in the comments below.