Another delay in 5G auctions; India might need to wait until 2023 to get 5G speeds

TRAI officials have stated that the April-May auction timeline is unlikely and that they are currently working at a record pace on the spectrum pricing recommendations.

Published:Fri, December 17, 2021 2:38pm

By Karanveer Singh Arora


There seems to be yet another delay in India's 5G spectrum auctions, with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) informing the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that it will likely submit its pricing recommendations in March. In a response to this government officials have told Economic Times that the 5G auctions will happen in July, instead of April-May.

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With this delay, 5G deployment will get pushed into 2023, as telecom service providers have stated that they will require six months to start offering 5G services, after the spectrum is allotted.


According to the report, TRAI officials have stated that the April-May auction timeline is unlikely and that they are currently working at a record pace on the spectrum pricing recommendations. To recall, back in November, TRAI kicked off the price setting process for 10 spectrum bands earmarked by the government for offering 5G services. These bands included the 600Mhz band and the millimetre wave frequencies too.

The regulator has provided time till December 28 to stakeholders for submitting their comments. Counter comments can be submitted till January 11, 2022. It is looking for views on various issues like applicable reserve price, band plan, block size, the quantum of spectrum to be auctioned and associated conditions for auction of the new bands.


The new bands up for auction include 526-698 MHz, 24.25-28.5 GHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz and 3300-3670 MHz bands.

Telecom service operators including Airtel and Reliance to name a few have been asking for a faster rollout of 5G bands to help improve their services. To recall, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Jio recently pushed for an urgent rollout of 5G services, stating that it should be a national priority.

All major telecom service providers are currently running 5G trials with vendors in the country, to have the fastest rollout as soon as the spectrum is allocated.

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