Telecommunication companies Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea have requested the Department of Telecom (DoT) to provide a one-year extension for 5G trials. The request came in after the permit given to the telecom companies will end on November 26. If the telecom department agrees to the extension, the 5G auction will push towards the second half of 2022. Also Read - Not just OnePlus or Xiaomi, Oppo's next flagship will be powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip
In May this year, the government had allotted spectrum to telecom companies in the 700 MHz band, 3.3-3.6 GHz (GHz) band, and 24.25-28.5 GHz band for testing at various locations for six months. Also Read - Oppo Find N 5G could launch as Oppo's first foldable smartphone next month
The Department of Telecom has started the commercial launch of 5G with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), seeking its opinion on the pricing and methodology for spectrum auction. As per the report, a telecom industry executive reported ET that “All three telcos want to extend their trials by another year.” Also Read - Micromax to launch new smartphones in India on December 15: Report
However, 5G service may not be immediately available to everyone. It may take at least a year and a half for the cellular network infrastructure to develop in India fully.
5G Network price in India
The minimum price set for the 5G spectrum in the 3.3-3.6 GHz band set up by DoT is Rs 50,000 crore which is too high to buy as per telco companies, and they hope the government reduces the price in its new recommendations.
Recently, Bharti Airtel and Ericsson together conducted a 5G network demonstration in a rural area. The demonstration took place in Bhaipur Bramanan village on the outskirts of Delhi/NCR using a 5G trial spectrum allocated to Airtel by the Department of Telecom.
In September, Reliance Jio Bharti Airtel-Tata combines started 5G trials based on their equipment. The indigenous 5G trial was held in Navi Mumbai. The telco used its own 5G RAN and 5G standalone combo core to verify the network-slicing capability for real-time streaming.
Recently Airtel gave a live demo of the low band 5G network on the non-stand-alone network with 4G hardware. Apart from this, there is no news from Airtel on the mmWave 5G band yet. Airtel and Ericsson are working together to roll out 5G. In contrast, Jio will roll out a 5G network in India in collaboration with Qualcomm.
Indian operators may benefit from the delay in the 5G rollout. But the country is far behind from many other countries in terms of launching 5G services. However, as per reports, this delay may also benefit Indian telecom operators, as they can get network equipment at a lower cost. Smartphone companies have already reduced the prices of their products to increase the adoption of 5G devices in India.