The government has decided to allow enterprises to set up and operate 5G private networks
The Indian government has announced plans to hold an auction of 5G spectrum by the end of July and has confirmed that certain frequencies will be reserved so that enterprises can set up private mobile networks.
In a statement, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, announced that it had approved a proposal by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to auction a total of 72GHz spectrum with a validity period of 20 years.
The government has also agreed to set a reserve price of US IN 3.2 billion ($ 40.6 million), Reuters reports. The auction will offer frequencies in the 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz, 3,300 MHz and 26 GHz frequency bands.
The government has also ensured that successful bidders will not be required to pay in advance. Payment can be made by the winning bidders in 20 equal monthly installments. If they choose to pay in advance, a two-year suspension is granted.
The government further said that those interested in participating in the spectrum auction have been invited to submit their applications by July 8, with the process starting on July 26.
The government has decided to allow enterprises to set up and operate private networks. These companies will be able to acquire spectrum directly from DoT to set up networks for testing and building Industry 4.0 applications such as machine-to-machine communication, IoT and artificial intelligence. The cabinet noted that it has decided to enable private networks to support a new wave of industrial applications in sectors such as automotive, healthcare, agriculture and energy.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) recently told the Indian government that local carriers would not be encouraged to set up 5G networks if the authorities allow private companies to operate their own 5G networks.
COAI, as a key member of local operators Bharati Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea, has sent a letter to Indian Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnav stating that “there is no business case to launch 5G networks” if the government finally allows local enterprises to own their own. Approved the possibility of setting up and operating a 5G network.
The agency noted that the possibility of allowing such private networks “would reduce revenue so much that there would be no viable business for telecom service providers and there would be no need for telecom service providers to roll out 5G networks.”
In a tweet, COAI wrote that allocating spectrum to industry verticals for private networks “is not justified as fully licensed access service providers are fully capable of providing all customized solutions”.
Meanwhile, the Broadband India Forum (BIF), which supports private networks, recently published a research paper challenging the premise that Indian operators will lose revenue because entities consider leading to increased productivity for private 5G ventures that will result in increased productivity. More external communication is needed.