5G spectrum auction will be held as per schedule: Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

The 5G network spectrum auction is expected in May.

Highlights
  • Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has assured that the 5G spectrum auction will be held as per schedule
  • TRAI’s 5G recommendations on spectrum pricing and other nuances to Telecom Ministry are yet to arrive
  • 5G services are expected to launch later this year

The 5G spectrum auction, which is reportedly expected to happen in May, will be held as per schedule, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has confirmed. This comes at a time when telecom regulator TRAI’s 5G recommendations on spectrum pricing and other nuances, which were expected to come in March, have reportedly been pushed to April. The Minister talked about the upcoming 5G auction at the 2nd National Conference on Cybercrime Investigation and Digital Forensics being held in New Delhi.

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The spectrum auctions are slated to happen in 2022 and the rollout of the 5G mobile services within 2022-23. A senior TRAI official last week had told PTI that the recommendations on the spectrum pricing and other modalities will come out within the next 7-10 days.

5G spectrum auction

TRAI had released a detailed consultation paper last November to discuss the recommendations for the auction of spectrum across multiple bands. This paper had 74 questions for industry-wide discussion and touched on crucial aspects like valuation and reserve price of 5G spectrum, block size, the quantum of the spectrum, eligibility conditions for participation in action, spectrum cap, rollout obligations, and surrender of the spectrum.

A standard will be worked out for new frequencies such as 526-698MHz and millimetre band that is 24.25 – 28.5GHz, in addition to 00MHz, and 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, 2500MHz, and 3300-3670MHz bands.

According to the Department of Telecom, only 13 cities will first get to experience 5G services this year. These include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Jamnagar, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow and Gandhinagar. The 5G network is expected to offer users a 10 times faster download speed than 4G services.