We’ve heard a lot of assertions regarding the 5G rollout in the country in the past few months. Due to a delay in the spectrum auction, the 5G deployment is already behind schedule, and it appears that the auction may be delayed even more. According to a recent story published by The Hindu Businessline, a battle has erupted between Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and enterprises seeking private networks.
The auction was supposed to take place in early June, as the Telecom Minister stated. However, since the Cabinet has yet to modify the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) plan, there will be a delay. The auction is unlikely to take place in June since publishing the notice inviting applications (NIA) and having stakeholder meetings can take at least 45 days from the date of Cabinet approval.
The main reason for the delay is that a number of industry organizations and private players have requested access to the private 5G networks. Despite the fact that the spectrum allocation of private network users has been excluded from the impending auction, these players have petitioned the government through their representative groups. They say that preventing them from entering the country will harm the country’s efforts to digitalize its economy and make its products more competitive in the global market.
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Many organisations, such as the Broadband India Forum (BIF), which includes Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel, Adani, and Reliance, among others, have pushed the government to distribute this spectrum via an administered allocation process for a low or no cost. Even the TRAI has recommended that the government distribute 5G spectrum to businesses for the establishment of their own private captive networks.
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