Commercial 5G Trials in India could start early next year

Jitendra SoniUpdated: Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 08:25 PM IST
5G |

5G is probably the most hyped buzz word globally right now. While telcos in countries like the US, South Korea, China, etc. have started offering commercial 5G connections, India has been languishing far behind.

However, the good news is that the trails for much-delayed 5G services are expected to start in the last quarter, Jan-March, of the current fiscal year. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has confirmed that the auction of the 5G spectrum will be held in March-April next year. He also confirmed in the Rajya Sabha that the union government is also working to finalize the framework for 5G technologies.

According to senior officials from the ministry said that the Digital Communications Commission may meet on December 20 to discuss pricing and the quantum of spectrum to be auctioned, reported Economic Times.

Another media report mentions that the government has received 12 applications for 5G trials and none of which have been approved or rejected as yet.

“Any proposal on 5G must address twin considerations – first adoption of new technology, and imperatives of national security. The technology for 5G is yet to evolve, and major global players are themselves in the process of evaluating the ecosystem and use cases for 5G,” the report quoted another official.

Even though the Prime Minister was keen to start 5G services by earlier this year, he wants to kickstart the process early next year. Even the telecom companies weren’t ready to roll out 5G since the technology is in its nascent stage and the fact that the telcos are already reeling under the immense pressure of a debt of over Rs 7 lakh crore, it only made sense to delay the process a bit. Even the base price of the 5G spectrum seemed very high, reported industry experts.

TRAI, on the other hand, is also looking for feedback from the stakeholders on the floor pricing of 5G services. Reliance Jio since its inception has offered free voice calls and cheap data packs, which most telecom companies have been opposing.

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