Govt to give 5G spectrum for trials to all players, says Ravi Shankar Prasad
The government has decided to give 5G spectrum for trials to all players, including Huawei.
"We have taken a decision to give 5G spectrum for trials to all players," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. An in-principle decision has been taken in this regard, Prasad said at an event here.
"5G is future, it is speed. We will encourage new innovation in 5G," he added. Sources said all operators and vendors, including Huawei, will be included in trials.
On Tuesday, the DoT will hold a meeting regarding the trials. Earlier in the month, the DoT approved prices for the next spectrum auction which will put on offer around 6050 MHz of air waves specifically for 5G.
The Digital Communication Commission (DCC), the highest policy making body of the Telecom Ministry, on December 20 approved the spectrum auctions to be held in March-April while making no change in the reserve pricing of the radiowaves decided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
The auction will see 5G spectrum sale for the first time. People in the know further said that the trials are likely to start next month.
Jay Chen, CEO of Huawei India thanked the Indian government for continued faith in the company.
"We firmly believe that only technology innovations and high quality networks will be the key to rejuvenating the Indian telecom industry. We have our full confidence in the Modi Government to drive 5G in India," the CEO said. "We have our full confidence in Indian Government and industry to partner with best technology for India's own long term benefit and also for cross industry development. Huawei is always committed to India," he added.
Big relief to Huawei
The move comes at a time when Huawei is facing sanctions from the US over security concerns. The Chinese telecom company has already been losing partners including the likes of Google.
Huawei is now looking at India to drive its next round of the growth. India, however, hasn't gotten started with 5G yet. The company did get invite to participate in the 5G trials but not without sparking some concerns.
Where we are at 5G
While the US and China have already raced to 5G network, India is likely to begin the process of 5G spectrum auction in early 2020.
According to a note shared by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), India will put 8,293.95 MHz of airwaves on auction for 5G.
"DoT has suggested a base price for 5G airwaves at ₹492 crore per MHz and proposed a sale of a minimum 20 MHz blocks, which would mean a telco spending close to ₹10,000 crore for 20 MHz, and ₹50,000 crore for 100 MHz," added the COAI note.
(With inputs from IANS, HT Correspondent)