The 5G spectrum auction was set to take place in July, with a commercial deployment on August 15th, India’s Independence Day. And it now appears that the auction will be postponed even longer because the government has yet to make a decision on the private 5G network dispute between telecom service providers and tech firms. After the auctions, high-ranking state authorities will decide on the 5G call price and spectrum duration, after an agreement between the telecom ministry and the DCC (digital communication commission) on various TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendations.
According to a senior official, the government is expected to allow 5G service providers to lease 5G to private enterprises, and representation of companies requesting direct 5G allocation is being considered.
Delay in India 5G rollout due delay in 5G Spectrum Auction:
The 5G network issue has become a source of concern for the service provider, which is embroiled in a legal battle with the BIF (Broadband India Forum), which includes tech titans such as Amazon India, Meta, Tata Consultancy, and others. Private networks, according to the BIF, pose no security risks because they are closed and disconnected from public networks, and they generate cash for the government. It also asks the government to allow direct spectrum allotment to firms for a small administrative cost, as is the case in other countries.
Companies should build private 5G networks, according to BIF, because public networks cannot attain the essential savings. Furthermore, it is suggested that such networks will generate additional cash for telecoms and the government because corporations would buy spectrum at a price fixed by the government and assigned administratively.
The forum stated that allocating spectrum through auctions is erroneous and deceptive, citing Supreme Court instructions on spectrum distribution released in 2012. Following TRAI recommendations that the government either licence out the airwaves directly or lease them to current carriers, Indian telecom service providers have written to the government opposing direct allotment of 5G spectrum to private companies, claiming that it would harm their enterprise businesses and leave them with no business case to roll out 5G services.