The telecom department has approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) requesting it to expedite spectrum recommendations after the Prime Minister Office urged it to work towards the initial launch of 5G by August 15, 2022, and explore the possibility of obtaining requisite views from the regulator before March.
The market is gearing up for the rollout of 5G services that will usher in ultra high-speeds and spawn new-age services and business models.
Accordingly, the TRAI is firming up its recommendations on modalities for spectrum auction across multiple bands, including pricing, quantum and other conditions — preparing the groundwork for upcoming 5G auctions.
Norms are being worked out for new frequencies such as 526-698 MegaHertz (MHz) and millimetre band, that is 24.25 – 28.5 GHz, in addition to bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz.
Before finalising its views, TRAI had recently conducted an open house discussion with stakeholders, marking the last leg of industry-wide consultations.
In its letter dated February 22, 2022, to TRAI Secretary, the Department of Telecom (DoT) said: “In reference to decision/action points emanating from deliberations of a monitoring group, PMO has requested DoT to work towards the initial launch of 5G by August 15, 2022, and also explore the possibility of obtaining requisite recommendations from TRAI before March 2022.”
“In view of the above, TRAI is requested to expedite the matter and provide the recommendations at the earliest,” the DoT letter said.
The telecom department also requested the regulator to examine the need to review the channel plan in the 800 MHz band and the number of spectrum blocks that can be made available for telecom services in the 800 MHz band while providing its views regarding spectrum auction modalities.
As the country gears up for mega auction, the industry has made an aggressive pitch for lowering spectrum pricing.