The Department of Telecom (DoT) is expected to seek recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on pricing and other aspects of 5G bands of frequency 24.75 – 27.25 GHz.
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The Government intends to put this up for auction and supposed to approach TRAI this month for recommendations on these millimeter-wave bands of 5G spectrum. The millimeter-wave spectrum operates above the 24 GHz band and as you’d expect, it’s great for superfast data transmission.
This endeavour is different from the 5.23 lakh crore spectrum auction approved by the Digital Communication Commission on 20th December 2019 for 8300 MHz of spectrum in 22 telecom circles. The bidding for these airwaves is supposed to start this month whereas the sale is to take place in March.
India has been planning to roll out the 5G services for some time now to keep up with international standards. In September 2019, the Minister for Communications Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad had talked about the auction of spectrum in the beginning of 2020. This auction is supposed to be the largest spectrum auction where more than 8,200 MHz of airwaves are to be sold with the debut of 5G spectrum. However, the debt-ridden telecom industry might have trouble keeping up with these initiatives.
India is going through an economic slowdown, it might be challenging for telecom operators to bid in these auctions. At the same time, lack of participation in the auctions can lead to a competitive disadvantage and thus, companies often have to engage in this even if they do not have the resources to do so.
The industry body, Cellular Operators’ Association of India has also been asking the Government to seek TRAI’s views on 26 GHz band.