PMO pushing for 5G launch by August 15; The Ministry of Telecommunications asks for TRAI recommendations

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FE had in November last year reported on the government’s plan to launch 5G services by August 15 and conduct the auction in April-May. The DoT has had regular discussions with industry about the possibility of a limited launch in August, in locations where 5G trials are currently underway.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), asking it to submit the recommendations on spectrum reserve price for 5G auctions before March, as the Prime Minister’s Office Minister (PMO) expressed his wish for the initial launch of 5G by August 15.

The DoT also informed Trai of the availability of additional spectrum in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands which can be incorporated for the upcoming auction.

Usually, the DoT does not ask Trai to submit its recommendations by a given deadline, but this time, since an informal deadline of August 15 has been set for the launch of 5G services, a communication to expedite the process has been sent. .

“Referring to decisions/action points emanating from the deliberations of an oversight group, the PMO directed the DoT to work towards the initial launch of 5G by August 15, 2022 and also explore the possibility of obtain the required recommendations from Trai by March 2022. In view of the above, Trai is requested to expedite the matter and provide the recommendations at the earliest,” the DoT said in a letter to Trai.

FE had in November last year reported on the government’s plan to launch 5G services by August 15 and conduct the auction in April-May. The DoT has had regular discussions with industry about the possibility of a limited launch in August, in locations where 5G trials are currently underway.

Telecom operators need clarity on free spectrum that can be auctioned off, so they can place equipment orders in advance. All carriers’ networks can be made operational for 5G within months, as all telecom carriers have already upgraded to it. The real problem that remains is the division between operators on certain points such as satellite spectrum, the consolidation of E-band with 5G spectrum and spectrum caps. Trai needs to find common ground so that everyone’s concerns are addressed.

The PMO is pushing for an August rollout of 5G services as India is currently lagging behind in adopting the latest technologies. Many countries including the United States, China, South Korea, and European countries, among others, have already launched 5G services, while India is in a preparatory phase.

Last year, the DoT was shut down by the IT Standing Committee, chaired by Congressman Shashi Tharoor, for not doing enough groundwork for the launch of 5G services in India.

After the report was tabled in Parliament, the DoT began 5G trials, which are currently underway.

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