5G spectrum auctions “could” take place in April, hints Minister
The 5G spectrum could take place in April-May 2021, says Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. Telcos have also sought an extension for 5G trial period.
Where is 5G? Nobody knows for now and the guesses are at best 2-3 years away. The 5G spectrum allotment is step towards 5G's ingress in India and so far that hasn't happened. However, the spectrum allotment may only be a few months away, if the latest comments from Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw are to be considered, the auctions may happen by April-May 2022.
A finalised timeline for the auction has to come from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) but the minister says that estimates can be made. "But, today, our estimate is by April-May. I was earlier estimating March. But, I think it will take...because consultations are complex, diverse opinions are coming," Vaishnaw said.
5G spectrums may happen by May 2022
Initially, Vaishnaw had hinted at the auctions happening earlier in 2022, probably in the first quarter. He had also hinted that government is planning to brings reforms to the telecom sector along with the auctions in a bid to put Indian's telecom regulations up there with the best on the global scene.
With the upcoming 5G auctions, it is said that the government wants the spectrum to stay consistent for several years. "So, 4G can be used in that, 5G can be used. So, that's the thinking based not just short term but more like thinking at least 5-10 years ahead," said Vaishnaw.
Additionally, it is said that the telecom operators have also sought an extension with their 5G trials. The reason? It has mostly to do with the lack of readiness with the technology. The companies have reportedly found the current prices expensive given the average size of spectrum required to deploy 5G.